I am joining the Potomac Ministry Network in this 2015 Week of Prayer.
Because it is my conviction that prayer is a most important aspect of our lives as believers, viagra I come to this week looking to our Father for clarity in a life too often plagued by confusion and fear. As Richard, mind Bishop of Chichester, 1253, reflects may I know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly, day by day.
So we set aside time at the beginning of 2015 to pray. I encourage you to carve out time daily during this week for intentional times of prayer.
Prayer is a spiritual discipline. I love the insight John Ortberg shares in his study The Life You Always Wanted, As with a marathon runner, the secret to winning the race lies not in trying harder, but in training consistentlyâ€”training with the spiritual disciplines. The disciplines are neither taskmasters nor an end in themselves. Rather they are exercises that build strength and endurance for the road of growth. The fruit of the Spiritâ€”joy, peace, kindness, etc.â€”are the signposts along the way. As you train in righteousness in the coming year, I would invite your consideration of a spiritual discipline often overlooked – the discipline of lament.
The Spiritual Discipline of Lament
Lament makes us uncomfortable. It means we fix our attention on the brokenness of our lives and our world. It requires we pay attention to our loss and grief. Lament is a familiar scriptural theme. We often see King David lament the losses of his life. In the antecedent to his soliloquy on the faithfulness of Yahweh, Jeremiah laments the bitterness and the gall of his soul. Jesus includes morning in the endowment of the blessed. Blessed are those who mornâ€¦. He weeps over Jerusalem as well as the untimely death of His friend Lazareth. Isaiah describes the Savior as a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief.
The brilliant strategy to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem â€“ broken down with its gates burned with fire â€“ came following Nehemiahâ€™s prayer, in a season of lament. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayer before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:4 In fifty-two days the returned exiles rebuilt the wall surrounding Jerusalem resulting in this response from their enemies. â€¦ all the surrounding nations were afraidâ€¦they realized this work had been done with the help of God. Nehemiah 6:16
Â In our pursuit of Godâ€™s mission in the earth, we must not turn a blind eye to the discipline of lament. Could it be that the discipline of lament is the stuff of which victory is made?
What are the broken walls in your life? What losses have you covered over? Lament the state of this culture without God. Out of your sorrow, allow God to â€œenlargeâ€ our soul and transforms us into lovers of Him and others. (Dr. Peter Scazero, Enlarging Your Soul and Church Through Grief and Loss) and birth in you strategies of rebuilding.