I Want to See!

II want to see

I Want to See!

40 Gifts of Lent | Gift 12

Reflections on Luke 13 – 19

“What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Luke 18:51  (NIV)

There was a time when I couldn’t see clearly at all. I packed for an extended trip out-of-town without an extra set of contact lenses or packing my standard go-to pair of eye glasses. Unaware that I had forgotten to pack either, I tossed the contact lenses, that I had already worn for a month, down the drain. Upon realizing my circumstance, It wasn’t long before a substantial panic attack ensued. I was stranded in a haze of blurred color and fuzzy shapes until someone came to rescue me.

I don’t take for granted that I can see the bright color of flowers and the sharp bending of branches in a magnificent tree or the sparkling twinkling eyes of my granddaughter when she laughs with me. Yes, I am thankful for my sight…but many days and much too often, I remain blind. Images of people in need are blurred. The needs of the homeless and children on the street are hazy.

I wrote about experiencing a radical mercy, yet I avoid noticing…I avoid looking, to see the way of grace and mercy.

So, I pray, “Lord, I want to see.”  I want to see beyond the skin of the hurting person seeking help. I want to see that child, with needs that are woven in a special tapestry, so different from others. I want to see clearly how to make a difference…I want to see how to leave an imprint for the glory of God.

“I want to see!” I need God to rescue  me. I need to pray this everyday. The gift is when God restores my sight, I will see His grace and I will show and live His grace and mercy to others.

 It should be the thing that greets your mind and fills your heart as you wake each morning. It should be your final thought as you settle in for a night of sleep. It should define how you face your day, and it should shape your self-reflections. It should be the thing that directs how you respond to others. It should be at the forefront of your thoughts in times of trouble or disappointment. It should alter how you think about finances, possessions, decisions, relationships, and everything else. It should be a central theme of your existence. It’s so huge, so gorgeous, and so glorious that once it gets hold of you, you’ll never be the same again. I am talking about God’s grace ~Paul David Tripp

I want to see 2

About 40 Gifts of Lent 

I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. To continue reading, please go here: 40 Gifts of Lent

#LentChallenge

Intercessory Prayer ❘ The Mat Carrier

Grandaughter,Grandmother, Great-Grandmother

Intercessory Prayer Through the Generations.
Grandmother, Granddaughter, Great-Grandmother

“Intercessory prayer is less about changing God’s mind and more about participating in His mercy” shereadstruth.com

“It seems the secret to real success is not found in a public place of power but in a secret place of prayer.” Jesse D. Lane

Have you ever been asked to join a prayer team? I was asked. I signed up! This is what I learned from years of intercessory prayer.

Please, don’t take that request lightly. Don’t think that praying for other people is easy and your participation on the prayer team will be the “piece of cake” action that makes you feel better about yourself and your “service in the church.” Intercessory prayer is not easy. If you think praying for others is easy and random, then you aren’t really experiencing the work of intercessory prayer.

Making a commitment to pray for others is arming yourself to work hard for people whom you may never personally meet.  Intercessory prayer requires a discipline of time, discipline to show mercy, discipline of thought…put yourself into their story…to envision yourself as their “mat carrier.”

A mat carrier is one that helped to carry a friend to Jesus. Do you remember the story in the Bible about a man who couldn’t walk and was confined to life on a mat? I’m sure he was a real likable guy because he had four friends that would do just about anything for him. I imagine they may have carried him to the temple to worship or perhaps the market to buy food. Perhaps they took care of his physical needs at home. The four friends worked together to lift up the four corners of his mat and carry him  from place to place. I imagine them struggling to fight fatigue and being surprised that interceding for a friend would beckon them to work hard…to get messy in the process.

The four mat carriers interceded for their friend…they would do anything to help him receive peace, grace, healing…they carried him to Jesus. They believed Jesus was the answer to satisfy the needs of their friend. They hoped Jesus would heal him. They knew Jesus would take care of everything their friend needed. The friends brought the needs of this man to Jesus (literally) and left him there…in front of Jesus. And Jesus saw their faith.

Do you know how this amazing chapter in the life story for this paralyzed man ends? Jesus, is compassionate and kind and changes the man’s heart with speaking the only words of truth that will grant real forgiveness. And then Jesus tells the paralyzed man to get up and go…walk out of the house and show people that he was completely healed inside and out…and “don’t forget to carry your mat, too!” (I embellished this story in my own words. Please read the full bible text here.)

I find this act of service and love by the four friends amazing. Wherever Jesus was, a crowd was sure to gather. The homes were probably small and it was shoulder to shoulder “standing room only” inside.  I imagine the over-flow lot was full of people too. Pressing in close and tight to one another just to hear Jesus, to see Jesus, to try to touch him. It was hard enough for one person with healthy legs to manage the crowd…much more harder for four people carrying their friend on his mat.

I appreciate the friends were also creative problem solvers. Their friend needed to meet Jesus right then and now! So they devised a plan to hoist and carry their friend up to the roof of the house. Then they started digging their way through the roof of the house, creating an opening large enough to lower their friend safely down to where Jesus was. The “mat carriers” were willing to get dirty and messy and take a risk. There were persistent to help their friend.

In conclusion, this is what I learned about intercessory prayer:

  1. Don’t take prayer lightly
  2. Intercessory prayer is hard and it requires discipline
  3. Ask God to help you to show mercy and love through prayer
  4. Put yourself in their story
  5. Imagine their sorrow or anxiety or loss
  6. Talk to God about their needs.
  7. God is never annoyed by “debris”
  8. Trust God to do what God will do
  9. Celebrate the answers of prayer
  10. Be a mat carrier. Period.