Monday, May 3, 2010

Prayer and the New You

Praying and preparing to preach and pray this week, I'm in the book of Revelation.  Here we have a complex vision that God gave to the Apostle John when he was imprisoned on Patmos.  In Revelation we see earth's history from God's point of view, a war between good and evil which ends with total joy, total peace, total beauty.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth... and I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I encourage you to meditate on this section of the book of Revelation by clicking here.  You won't understand it all, but you will get a sense of how glorious you will be in the end when you are joined to Jesus Christ.  For the holy city, the new Jerusalem, the "bride" of Christ--that is you--when you are joined to Jesus Christ.  When you are joined to Jesus you are beautiful beyond description.  You are a jewel in the holy city.  When you are joined to Jesus, you are a precious gift of God. Words fail in describing how excellent you are in the eyes of God.

Of course, your beauty is not your own doing.  Your own goodness is nothing but filthy rags. But when Jesus, your groom, claims you by God's Word and Holy Spirit, you are made new.  At the end of all things your glory will be revealed, not as anything you are in yourself, but as a part of the glory of God coming down from heaven.  Your goodness, your beauty, it comes "down out of heaven from God."

Will you trust Jesus for your beauty today?  Will you give up your search for your own beauty?  Will you come to the Lord in humble prayer, asking that your heart and your eyes be healed so you can see yourself as God sees you?  Will you ask others to pray for you and with you?  When you are sick at heart or sick in body, God has a promise for you.
Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. James 5:14-16
It's that sort of prayer that God is calling us to at our church during these days.  Some of us feel far from the Lord.  Some of us feel far from beautiful.  So we come, as God commands, to His Word and in prayer, clinging to his promises.  Promises that transform and change us when we pray.  In prayer, God's beauty shines.

Come to church every Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. for prayer.  Or call us or other mature Christian friends (elders) who will pray with you at another time.  There is a special blessing when we get together in the name of the Lord.  This Thursday we have a special time of prayer--the National Day of Prayer.  Here in the Dassel-Cokato area we have times of prayer at the schools (7:30-7:45 a.m.), at the Cokato City Hall (12:20-12:40), and at the Elim Mission Church from 7-8:00 p.m.  The morning prayer at the schools (7:30-7:45 a.m.) will be at Dassel Elementary (next to the music room), at Cokato Elementary (music room), and at the High School (in the choir room just off the main commons).

Though God is perfect, prayer never is.  But still, stumbling or profound, God honors us when we come humbly to him in prayer, seeking his eyes, his heart, his purposes.  As we keep praying together, God will raise you up!  In the end, joined to Jesus, you and I will be jewels, precious, beautiful, the bride, the city of God.

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