This morning I came across the above titled poem written by Louise Knight Wheatley years ago. It begins with her prayer asking for success, prosperity, friends, a nice home, luxury and joy. Many lines later and I am sure years later, it ends with
“Ah, Love divine, how empty was that prayer of other days! That which was once so fair,–Those flimsy baubles which the world calls joys Are nothing to me now but broken toys, outlived, outgrown. I thank Thee that I know those much-desired dreams of long ago, like butterflies, have had their summer’s day of brief enchantment, and have gone. I pray for better things.
Thou knowest, God above, My one desire now–Teach me to Love.”
As I read and reread that poem, I thought of my own prayers and how they have changed over the years and I humbly express so much gratitude for this spiritual growth.
Yesterday I heard a lady tell a story about her four year old daughter. This child loved to pray to and about everything. She prayed to and about her dolls, family members and her small dog. One day the mother wasn’t feeling well and her little girl was there playing so she asked her to pray for her. The little girl agreed and soon, the lady was feeling much better and asked her daughter what did she pray. She just smiled and said, “I didn’t talk, Mama, I just listened!” What wisdom! So often, we want to do all the talking while true prayer is listening.
Proverbs 16:3 reads “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” This can only be done by listening. An old translation of the word “obey” is to “hear completely”.
When discouragement attempts to sneak in at anytime, Joseph immediately comes to thought. It seemed he had one challenge after another and he continued to grow spiritually. Anyone familiar with this story knows that the same brothers that had plotted to kill him but sold him into slavery instead, later in life they owed their very existence to him. They had to come to him for food. I never read this without going to Romans 8:28 which reads “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Every challenge he faced was necessary for his growth, but he was never separated from God and neither are we. Whenever I feel I am stuck, I simply remind myself that I just cannot see the entire picture yet, but I know it is always good since my life is guided by God and it will soon be revealed to me.
As I greet the day with thanksgiving, briefly I think about memorable times in my life and I find it is not necessarily the large raises I may have received nor the awards or large material gifts. What comes to mind instead, is a beautiful sunrise over the mountains, something good happening to a loved one or standing in as a grandparent at school for a child that didn’t have one here. The feelings I had with human accomplishments or gifts were fleeting but the genuine ones I can call up in my memory bank and recall the actual feeling.
When I remove self as in self-righteousness, self-absorption, self-pity, self-condemnation I can get in touch with my real self; the one God knows and sees. This is when I can relate to verses like Jeremiah 31:3 which states “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'”
Recently, I was looking at a picture of raging waters and a lighthouse. As I glanced at the waters, the lighthouse became less clear and almost invisible. Then, I focused on the lighthouse and could not see the waters clearly. That is exactly what happens when I think of problems rather than all the good going on in my life. As I express gratitude for blessings, all other just fade away.
Philippians 4:8 reads “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Today, I will do just that!
This morning as I was praying about the rescue of the boys’ soccer team and their assistant coach from the cave in Thailand, I had been reading the Holy Bible and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy asking for guidance on how to pray. Was immediately led to a citation in Science and Health, which stated “Material belief is slow to acknowledge what the spiritual fact implies. The Truth is the centre of all religion. It commands sure entrance into the realm of Love.” That seemed to be the answer for me as I thought of the dire predictions humanly but soon remembered that God was right there with those children in the cave.
Also, the prayers going out from people all over the world have to be comforting them and those who are seeking an entrance in order to save them. My prayer today surrounds those inside as well as outside those walls. Then, I realized I was praying for the entire universe.
Romans 8:38-39 states “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Recently, I have been asked from two different people where I am getting my information for my blog. The Holy Bible, verses from Hymns and answers to my own prayers are my sources. For me, this blog is written to express feelings and revelations I have received from my own study and prayer work. This is certainly not written to preach or teach but if one person can relate and be helped in any way, it is worth it to me. The pictures are made by my husband.