Pick a single word that you can hold on to and pray all day long.
Posted in , Jan 15, 2021
Ever sit there, ready to pray and wonder what can help you get that connection to God? In the morning, munching my oatmeal, I read three Psalms and a chapter from the Gospels—better to start the day with the Good News rather than all that dreary and/or scary stuff in the newspaper.
Certain words pop up over and over again in Scripture. They might mean one thing in everyday speech but in a Biblical context—and prayer context—they offer so much power. Try them out as you pray. A single word that you can hold on to or pray all day long.
You don’t hear this word much. Maybe my mom would say it, exclaiming, “Mercy me!” But see what an important word and concept it was to Jesus. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” He says in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:7).
Remember the parable of the publican and the Pharisee praying on their way to the temple (Luke 18:9-14). The Pharisee bragging, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers or even this tax collector.”
Whereas the tax collector is standing far off, beating his breast. He can barely look up to heaven. “God be merciful to me, a sinner,” he prays. He is the one Jesus calls out. The simplest prayer in the world: “Lord, have mercy.” It puts you in the right relationship with God.
We don’t normally think of delight connected to faith. But there it is, again and again, especially in the Psalms. “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4) or “But their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law they meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2).
God wants us to delight in His presence. We can delight in the creation as it brings us closer to the Creator. We delight in the godly people we meet and see. Make your prayers with delight.
The word “peace” I generally think of as it relates to the resolution of some global conflict or the good work people do in the Peace Corps. But as Jesus uses the word, it is a message directed straight to the world and our fears.
When the disciples are in their boat and a great storm comes up, waves crashing against the sides, Jesus is asleep in their midst. When they wake Him up, He says to the wind and sea: “Peace! Be still!” (Mark 2:39).
Or when the woman suffering from a terrible hemorrhage just touches His robe and is healed instantly, Jesus feels the power that had gone out of Him. He turns to find her, and she comes to Him in fear and trembling. “Daughter, your faith has made you well,” He says. “Go in peace.”
Three words to help give you peace in these times.