Category Archives: Prayer

Reflections on Psalm 27 <3

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Well, happy Monday to you! 

We are starting week 5 of the Shelter in Place situation…in case you had lost track of time…

This weekend our church started a six week series on the Psalms. Funny how six weeks sounds like a long time when you are on the front end of it, but looking back it has passed so quickly. It’s all relative.

The years have a way of doing this as well, which is why I am so thankful I make notes and date them in the margins of my bible. 

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Last week, I was honored receive an email from our worship leader asking if I would consider writing a prayer based on the text of this first Sunday’s Psalm.

As a devotional practice, I often rewrite Psalms in my own words…not that I am putting my words over God’s, but I do realize the author of Psalms wrote them in Hebrew..his spoken word… and they have been translated into various forms to fit the language of readers all over the world and all through the ages since. 

So I like to ponder what is being said and then say it back in my own words and so I was comfortable saying yes to this request as it is something I do regularly.

I take no credit for it. It is God’s word just put in my vernacular the way I talk in conversation to a friend, and I am going to add the resulting prayer to bottom of this post. 

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Before we get there, I do want to finish the thought about the dating and note taking in the margins because when I began meditating on this Psalm, I gathered a few of my older Bibles and what a lovely backwards glance they gave me of how God has spoken to me through Psalm 27 over the years. 

Apparently verse 5 has been particularly meaningful to me over time. 

In one bible that has lost the back cover (don’t worry…it isn’t lost…it’s right here in the pile of stuff on the floor by my desk) I find the date 9-10-2010 next to it and the note “Twice today this verse!’

Another bible has this passage circled and a heart next to it. 

And a third is marked with yet another heart and the addition of a note to see Psalm 31:20. 

So before we go to the prayer that resulted from all of this, let’s look at the passages and then a quick thought gleaned from them.

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 27:5 NKJV

and for reference…

You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of men; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

Psalm 31:20

First off, I find the concept of being hidden away safe in a time of trouble as being a very comforting image. 

If you follow Enneagram information, I am a solid four and thus I feel all of my feelings plus all the feelings around me and if you haven’t noticed…we have an extraordinary amount of feelings flying around these days. 

I am also an over thinker and I have a vivid imagination that needs absolutely no solid facts in order to build up things to be concerned about.

So when you add a pandemic, economic crisis and massive shifts in political power struggles plus how all of this is affecting individual lives all around the world …well…yes…I will take that secret place of the Most High God to hide out in…thank you, very much. 

I am not talking about avoiding reality or escaping from responsibility.

I am talking about getting my reality checks underneath the protection of being in God’s Presence where I can safely sort out what are the things assigned to me and then pray for those who have other assignments. 

To ask for how I can offer help or not add fuel to the fire or be a peacemaker or bring comfort or just be still and wait. 

I also have to add this discovery I made years ago. It was a revelation because it stuck with me and has enlightened my understanding of this passage. 

I remember being interested in the world “pavilion” so I looked it up in the dictionary and was delighted to find that this word; defined as a large often sumptuous tent (so picture roomy and expansive and generous) is derived from Latin “papilion-, papilio or our translation…butterfly. 

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Oh my wild imagination immediately pictured on that day of my discovery, a huge canopy of strong and yet incredibly beautiful butterfly wings spread over me as I sit and wait and think and let God sort through all my turmoil and emotions and fears when I feel overwhelmed.

A butterfly. The very essence of transformation through metamorphosis. 

The butterfly. Who comes from the complete cellular reformation of a caterpillar. 

The butterly. Who crawls along a branch until it is time to spin a cocoon and then melts into goo to be reformed into this lovely creature. 

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Perfect. 

In His Presence, under His pavilion…I am transformed from what I was to what He intended me to be. 

Here is the prayer…hope it blesses you. 

Go read the Psalm for yourself, pull up a spot in the expansive tent and write it out in your own beautiful words <3 

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Father God,

You are our light and You have provided the way of salvation through your Son Jesus Christ. 

You strengthen us and You give us life. 

No matter what forces or attacks come against us, no matter how hard the enemy tries to wear us down and wear us out, we have nothing to be afraid of. 

We sing praises of gratitude and joy for your protection and provision over us.

Our one desire is to live in Your presence every day.

In your presence we find Your beauty and Your glory. 

You are everything we want and everything we need. 

We have set our hearts, minds and spirits on You .

Lord, we pray for Your mercy and grace to be poured out mightily on us. 

Lord, You have promised to hear and answer the cries of Your people when we turn to You.

Today we turn our faces fully to You, our God.

 We ask for Your forgiveness, healing, restoration and peace over your church and over this land. 

Lord, our ears are tuned to Your instruction. 

Give us teachable and repentant hearts. 

Deliver us, Lord, from the works of evil that would destroy us. 

Reveal Your truth and activate Your living Word in us. 

We believe we will see Your goodness in our land during our lifetime.

We wait in joyful anticipation of what our God will do in the days to come! 

May Your Spirit guide us and hold us steadfastly as we actively wait in faith for Your perfect timing. 

In Jesus’ Name 

Amen

Prayer based on Psalm 27 <3 Laura Reimer
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Some thoughts on prayer <3

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Anybody else marveling we are three months into 2020? 

In some ways it has flown by and in other ways, have mercy…it has been the longest three months of our lives. Bar none. 

I think back to January and how very few, if any, people had the entire world being unified by one battle on their radar. 

But God did. 

I can assure you of that one truth. 

None of this takes the God of the universe, who sees the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end, by surprise. 

He has no beginning and He has no end and He exists outside of time and space and origin. 

He always is and always will be.

He formed us and all that is out of absolutely nothing and He cares for us and loves us and has provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him though we blatantly have disregarded Him. 

We are invited during this time of a global pandemic that is shaking all the foundations of health, relationships, governments and the economy to engage in even more intimate and personal fellowship with the God of our hope and salvation. 

That is my view today and will be my view always, by His grace that holds me fast to His mercy and truth.

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So this morning as I have studied along with Kelly Minter’s fourteen day glimpse at portions of the Sermon on the Mount regarding prayer, I offer you my paraphrase of Jesus’ teachings on prayer from Matthew 6: 5-8 and then I plan to put it into practice:

Whenever you go to pray – 

Go in a private space

Shut the door to all distractions and just be very alone with God

Pray to your Abba Father who dwells in the deepest and most hidden places of your heart and soul.

Don’t babble and run on with what you think sounds like good prayers. 

Pray from your heart.

Talk to Him like you would a good friend about what is on your mind and heart. 

Speak honestly and sincerely and with raw, unedited words. 

Sort things out with Him that you do not understand because…

He does…

Because He knows. 

Because He listens.

Because He hears. 

Because He helps. 

Then quiet your own words and heart and lean in. 

Be held as you listen for any words He has for you. 

And if He is silent, then just be held <3

paraphrase of Matthew 6:5-8 Laura Reimer <3
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For the birds <3

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I just came in from a walk. I am usually a fair weather walker, but these days it doesn’t seem to matter the temperature or moisture content of the air. I get out when I can and walk. Partly to reduce anxiety temptations, partly to clear my head and partly to walk off the effects of too much time spent too close to the pantry if you know what I mean <3

As I walk, I hear the birds singing.

I step over worms who are venturing out after yet another rainfall. Nature is going on about its business with no thought or concern. The soggy fields seem blissfully ignorant of the trouble all those pools of water will cause our farmers in a few weeks and do not frown as more grey clouds gather overhead. 

This week I listened to a teaching from Matthew 6 where Jesus reminds us to consider the birds and flowers and how they do not work or toil and yet the Father cares and provides for them. He encourages us with the words…how much more are you worth to the Father than these? 

We watch our bird feeder each morning and think how the Father has provided for their needs by prompting us to fill it each day. 

They give us so much joy in their feathered beauty. You all might notice a heart changed here, because birds are not my thing…but these little song birds have captured my attention these past winters and with all that is going on they are a delight to behold. 

The squirrel that tries to steal from the feeder, not so much…still some room for growth regarding those critters…

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So God uses the things of nature to remind us of His nature and then this morning I was reading in 1 Kings and just had to get my pen out and mark up some passages because God revealed something new about who He is in a story that is so familiar I could have been tempted to skim it. So thankful I didn’t. 

I have prepared many lessons around Elijah and his show down with the prophets of Baal. I have read through it numerous times. I would have thought I had wrung all out of it I could. 

But this morning; fresh off of filling the bird feeder and meditation on Matthew 6 for a good bit yesterday, I read with a new set of eyes these words of God to Elijah immediately after he was told to pronounce to the evil King Ahab the coming of an extensively long drought in judgment on him and his acts of disobedience:

“Then the word of the LORD came to him {Elijah}, saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook.”

1 Kings 17: 2-6 NKJV

It caught me by surprise to see that God was using these birds…that neither sow nor reap…the ones for whom He tends and feeds…to feed His servant Elijah. 

Now I am a picture person and the idea of a bunch of ravens swooping in and dropping off my meals from their yellow beaks is not evoking all kinds of tea party images, but think about it. 

Elijah was kept fed and watered in the most unusual of ways by the very creation that neither toils nor spins nor works nor worries. 

God used the most simple and helpless of means to provide for this man’s needs. 

A twist in the story that would not be expected. 

And humbling for the prophet to be provided for by a flock of birds and a stream kept filled in a drought by a God who was watching over him. 

I have been hearing of resources for hospitals being raised up from the most usual places. Donations of masks from the Morman church in one city. They had them stockpiled for some reason and decided to donate them to the local hospitals. 8,000 masks mind you, delivered to hospitals. 

 In another place, a private business in a small community donated masks to a hospital in a city far away that is in deep need. 

God raising up resources from unlikely places. 

As we are tempted to be worried, let’s look at the birds and follow their example.

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Perhaps if we do this, God will use us – through our prayers or through our activity – to care for and tend others who are in need at this time. Our prayers of faith avail much and move the hearts of leaders in industry, government and the Church to be open to the nudges of God. 

Let’s keep our ears tuned to hear how God is working behind the scenes in incredibly unusual ways and let’s share those stories to urge one another on in faith!

May God bless and watch over each of you during these times of great uncertainty.

May you be filled with the certain knowledge of His love and mercy, grace and salvation extended to all people. 

You are loved and prayed for and I hope you don’t have to wait for a raven to feed you, but if you do…wash your hands

Be blessed   <3

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