Can I lock up my heart by prayer?

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Clearly, if given a choice, I would not chose evil. For one thing, I know God hates evil and loves those who hate evil.

The Lord loves those who hate evil;[b]
    he protects the lives of his people;
    he rescues them from the power of the wicked. – Psalm 97:10  GNT

If I say I hate evil, what about hating the evil that is within me?

It weakens me. I cannot pray after committing sin. I know I cannot be anywhere near the passion I normally have. I have lost my power. In fact, I cut my prayer time short or leave it altogether. Prayer may actually cause me to stop sinning and maybe this one thing I do, I do not want to stop. Then as I engage in ministry, I cannot. An unholy man must be a useless one.

How it must grieve Jesus. All I need to do is get rid of my sin and while no law will help, my praying to Him will. If I can get as much light on it as possible, that would be best. While getting the light on my sin is good, I want to make sure that it is not the light of my own judgement but the light of the Holy Spirit that I allow to shine on my heart. He will detect my sin and that is one step towards my healing. The next is to confess it and my mind begins to enter a holy state to gauge sin appropriately for what it is. In some cases, I might just have to run from them for there is no other way. For if I am to keep away from sin, I will need a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit.

“Lock up your hearts by prayer every morning and give God the key, so that nothing can get in.” – Old Master Dyer

May I never palliate sin.

The year of grace 1654,

Monday, 23 November, feast of St. Clement, pope and martyr, and others in the martyrology. Vigil of St. Chrysogonus, martyr, and others. From about half past ten at night until about half past midnight,

FIRE.

GOD of Abraham, GOD of Isaac, GOD of Jacob
not of the philosophers and of the learned.
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
GOD of Jesus Christ.
My God and your God.
Your GOD will be my God.
Forgetfulness of the world and of everything, except GOD.
He is only found by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Grandeur of the human soul.
Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you.
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have departed from him:
They have forsaken me, the fount of living water.
My God, will you leave me?
Let me not be separated from him forever.
This is eternal life, that they know you, the one true God, and the one that you sent, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
I left him; I fled him, renounced, crucified.
Let me never be separated from him.
He is only kept securely by the ways taught in the Gospel:
Renunciation, total and sweet.
Complete submission to Jesus Christ and to my director.
Eternally in joy for a day’s exercise on the earth.
May I not forget your words. Amen. – Blaise Pascal

 

 

Raised from suffering by prayer

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I was reading Psalm 26 – what a great prayer model for times of suffering – times where I need God help – when I know that my suffering is not because of my sin.

This kind of prayer comes from knowing I have been totally forgiven by God.  In other words, I am brimming in confidence – not in my ability to do good – but in God’s ability to forgive.

Declare me innocent, O Lord,
    because I do what is right
    and trust you completely. – Psalm 26:1 GNT

David’s confidence came from God’s love and His faithfulness.

Your constant love is my guide;
    your faithfulness always leads me – Psalm 26:3 GNT

This is the kind of prayer that can be prayed by anyone at any time. No matter who prays, how they pray or where they pray it – the words are an active desire to act with integrity and enjoy a covenantal relationship with God.

This allows me to walk with others and pray for them too. When I walk with another and should anyone one of us fall, there will be one still available to lift the other up.

 If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls, it’s just too bad, because there is no one to help him. – Ecclesiastes 4:10 GNT

The Targum paraphrases it this way.

“If one of them falls upon the bed, and lies sick, the other will cause his friend to rise by his prayer.”

If I am the one who is well and can help – I am called to visit, sympathize, speak words of comfort and pray with him – so that restoration takes place. It is even more than that – distress, poverty, falling into error, sin – for we can all fall into those ways along our journey and if I walk it alone and fall, who will pray for me?

 “If anyone insists on his own goodness and despises others…let him look into himself when this petition confronts him. He will find he is no better than others and that in the presence of God everyone must duck his head and come into the joy of forgiveness only through the low door of humility.” – Luther