let the children come

“But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children." – Matthew 19:14

Let the little children come.

We spent the last few days with our youth group, at camp. Watching our kids interact with one another, listen, pray, play and worship, Jesus’ instructions became more clear to me.

Yes, let the children come. In His Presence, they quickly transform to followers with His kind of faith, His kind of heart and His kind of trust.

“About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then He said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” - Matthew 18: 1-4

Like the disciples tried to keep children from coming to Jesus, for fear of distraction, we’re prone to condescendingly refer to our children’s camp experience as a “camp high.” Curiously, Jesus places a higher value on children’s response to Him.

The Lord showed me what looks different when children come to Him.

Children come to the truth about who they are…and who God is, more quickly than we do. Their first inclination is to trust Him. Partly out of lack of experience, and partly out of innocence; they don’t put up quite the walls we do.

Mark Lupton, our camp speaker, spoke about lies we tend to believe compared to the truth about us; who God says we are in His Word. After hearing this and sharing the lies they have believed with their friends, our kids were encouraged by their peers and leaders with the truth.

As they humbled themselves this week, laid down pretense and came to their Father, I saw The Lord do things in them.

Our 6th grade boys stealing the Talent Show.

Our 6th grade boys stealing the Talent Show.

They were free. Free from the guilt of sin, free to accept who The LORD says they are…His children. I saw them play, without worry of what others thought.

They worshipped whole-heartedly, spending themselves in praising their Father…and it has been beautiful to be in the room.

A week in creation, without distractions, in the presence of The Lord and some great leaders, our kids connected with our Father. Eternal, kingdom transactions took place. Other adults who came to support our leaders are coming home inspired by how we saw The Lord move.

So, yes, let the little children come.

If you’re an adult like me, let the little child in you come to Your Father. Embrace trust, rather than skepticism. I urge you to seek out the truth about you in His Word, rather than believing the lies of the enemy.

We’re not too old; we’re commanded to become like children. I pray you experience the freedom I saw in children this week.

These two girls, after being baptized in a mountain lake, followed their leader, held hands and sang worship songs all the way back to the bus.

These two girls, after being baptized in a mountain lake, followed their leader, held hands and sang worship songs all the way back to the bus.

acknowledge

Sitting in Waco Hall, back at my alma mater, I was able to watch our youngest face the challenge of school in front of her. Seeing her as she began to take in her new community, I thought, we each have our trials ahead of us.

My hard questions are pretty obvious: How the heck did this little girl become old enough to go away to college? And how the heck are we gonna pay for this?

She’s bound to be wondering who her friends will be and if she has what it takes to succeed here. All thru her school career she’s heard about college. I know she has more than enough capacity to handle it, but she’s looking at the mountain, wondering if she’s got what she needs to climb the hill.

As I face my struggles with this next stage, and she faces hers, I’ll share some simple advice. When facing life’s challenges, I’ve learned to do one thing.  Acknowledge.

“Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” – Psalm 100:3

I’ll tell her to acknowledge Him. He made you and you are His.

Since the time I sat where she sits and faced my fears about starting school, I’ve seen The LORD direct my path. He has protected me, provided for me, and held me together thru my hardest circumstances.

Celia and I have seen Him come thru again and again. We have learned to trust His love.

So, we acknowledge Him. He made us, and we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. As a shepherd looks after sheep, so The Lord has looked after us and so He will look after you.

When we face our days with excitement, apprehension or a mixture of both, we can turn to our Father. As we acknowledge Him, our perspective shifts.

We invite The LORD into our circumstances and we start to see our trials in light of His presence. We’re no longer facing this alone, but taking the next step with Him.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise.” – Psalm 100:4

Pondering some of things He’s done for me, for Celia, and for our children, I recall His faithfulness to our family. The LORD begins to speak to me, replacing worry with thankfulness, and then I experience His peace.

It seems simplistic, doesn’t it?

Yet, if we’ll acknowledge the LORD, He will speak to us, reminding us we are His, and of all He has done for us. As we turn to God as our Shepherd, tensions about our struggles fall into place.

So, let’s look to the heavens and acknowledge the One who spoke them to be. Yes, You are The Lord. We are Yours, the sheep of Your pasture.

divine work

One of the things I miss most about my old job is how I got to know new people. For those who don’t know, I sold forklifts for 19 years before I became a pastor. I didn’t go seminary, I went to 105° warehouses in swanky places like Waco, Reynosa and Laredo.

pictures of  Raymond forklifts - the brand I sold. they're made in Greene, NY & I loved selling them.

pictures of  Raymond forklifts - the brand I sold. they're made in Greene, NY & I loved selling them.

Throughout my career, I grew in my faith. The Lord began to transform my heart as I began to understand how much He loves us. The more I saw Him move in my life, the more I began to trust Him and the more I began to care for my co-workers and customers.

As a pastor, if you meet with me to talk about your life, you expect me talk about Jesus. You gotta know it’s coming.

As a forklift salesman, when you shared your struggles with me, if I prayed for you or offered how God helped me through a similar circumstance, it was a surprise. It was unexpected, but very real and authentic. Sometimes I spoke about my faith, or it might have been how I cared about people. I didn’t always know if my concern or words were meaningful to my work friends.

Over time, some of my close friends from my forklift days have confided in me. They’ve shared with me it was how I responded, God’s peace for me in hard circumstances or something else they witnessed that God used to make a difference to them.

I was never perfect. Never. But, as God promised in His Word – He was at work in me. I share this so you're reminded, God is using you today.

John 1 tells us “light pierces the darkness.” As a believer, the light of Christ shines thru us, and the more He works in us over time, the more brightly we reflect Him (2 Corinthians 3:18). Our lives may be the brightest glimpse of Christ our work friends see.

Francis of Assisi was right when he said, “preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

Our tendency is to grab a pastor or leader when our friends ask a hard question. Don’t be afraid to share your story. If you’ve experienced the love of Christ, you’ve got something valuable to share. If you’re waiting until you have the perfect day, or get your ducks all lined up, you’re gonna miss some sweet opportunities to see God move in the lives of your friends.

“Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart's desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you.” – Psalm 37:4-5

Let me encourage you to commit everything to The LORD and His purposes, as you walk into your day. Watch Him work in your life, and the lives of others.

Honestly, He is at work in us in ways we may never realize while we're here on earth. The real fun begins when we invite Him to use us, right where we are…today.

“We begin to sense that our work can be changed from job and task into service and act of kindness, from struggle for gain into the offering of gift, from slow death into life-giving co-creation. The work itself can become something more as we come to see ourselves as co-laborers rather than pawns, as hands and feet of God rather than merely the shoulders and backs of the marketplace.” – Living Prayer by Robert Benson

 

receive

“Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.” – Psalm 36:5

The unfailing love of The LORD is overwhelming. It is beyond description. If you follow Him, and read His Word, this resonates with you. If you’re like me, you’ve shared this; you might have even taught it to others…we know it to be true of God.

But, we struggle to fully receive it. Yes, I receive the blood of Christ, as covering for my sins. I can accept that, and trust Him with my eternal future. It is another matter though, to completely receive the inexhaustible, undeniable, faithful and unfailing love of my Heavenly Father.

It’s hard to believe He loves me, without conditions. Am I right?

Yet, He has affirmed His great love for us over and over again in His Word.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.” – John 3:16-17

 “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.” – Romans 5:5

 “the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends.” – John 15:13

 “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is.” – Ephesians 3:18

We place rules and regulations on God’s unfailing love. Unfailing is His characteristic, not ours.

Why do we fight to receive His love – as the gift it is? To know, without hesitation, we are His, and we are dearly loved?

You might think it isn’t an issue for you. But, if fear, worry, anger and frustration creep in more than you care to admit, would you consider God’s love has not fully been received?

Afraid of disappointing God, or not measuring up to self-imposed standards, we strive to prove our worth. Too often, we forget our standing and try to earn a position with our loving Father that has already been granted to us.

“Yet now He has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in His physical body. As a result, He has brought you into His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.” – Colossians 1:22

Our position with the Heavenly Father is secure. His indescribably great love for us is guaranteed. We can trust Him. We’re no longer enemies, but we’re at peace with Him (Colossians 1:19-21), which opens the door for us to be at peace with others.

When we receive God’s love and grace, we can give it. The more we receive His love, the more freedom we will have to love others like we are loved. His unfailing love is a gift. It’s for you and me. Receive it…all of it.

“Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of The LORD forever.” – Psalm 23:6

 

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He lets me rest…

“The LORD is my Shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams." - Psalm 23:1-2

Green meadows. Permission to rest.

Imagine a gentle nudge leading you to still waters. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

One day last week, I stepped out of my normal daily schedule, and spent time in silent space. Not like a morning quiet time, but more like an appointment with my Father. It didn’t last all day. It was 2-3 hours at an isolated carrel, in a library. Silence. Quiet water, green pastures.

As I sought time with God, without an agenda, He refreshed my soul with a well-known psalm. I read it without rushing, in different translations, verse by verse. Here are couple significant things I took from Psalm 23.

One: In Him, I have everything I need. Our world seems to thrive, and even gain energy, on discontentment. When I pull away and shut out noisy influences, I’m reminded, I have everything I need in Him. I shall not want.

He lets me rest in green meadows, and leads me beside peaceful streams. He refreshes my soul.

This implies my soul needs refreshment. Listen again to the first few verses and hear the implications. You and I need green meadows, and peaceful steams.

It is so easy to run past places of rest.

Finding this kind of time is a struggle, right? When I made the sacrifice of putting this appointment on my schedule, and fought to protect the time, it was worth it.

A quiet carrel in a library may sound awful. Okay, but where is your green pasture? What do quiet waters look like for you? Your soul, like mine, needs to be refreshed.

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Two: Personalize this old psalm. I read to my Father, not just about Him, but to Him. It looks like this:

Instead of – “He lets me rest in green meadows…”

Pray – “You let me rest in green meadows. You lead me beside peaceful streams.”

Something wonderful happens when we pray His Word back to our Father. We connect with Him. Quiet space becomes holy ground and we’re drawn in to an intimate conversation.

David wrote this. He was a shepherd. All of these references are from his experience and they’re significant to David. They’re meaningful to us, and if you’re like me, you’ve never even tended any sheep.

What about your experience? What have you been trained to do, as an expert, and now have years, maybe decades of experience in? Are you a student, a mom, an engineer or doctor?

I was in sales for over 20 years. So, I made Psalm 23 personal by writing it out of my experience. It’s a little silly, but it honestly helped me connect to The LORD in a real and new way. Try it.

The LORD is my VP of Sales. I have a job. 

He allows me to go out into my territory to work

and He has given me an office, to gather my thoughts and rest.

He refreshes my bank account every two weeks.

He guides my efforts and the calls I make.

Even when I am in the hardest of deals & could lose my job,

I am not afraid, because I know He is with me and for me.

His endless resources give me strength in the most competitive deals, even the ones I don’t think I will get.

He lavishes praise on my efforts.

I have success way beyond what I have earned; my blessings overflow.

Surely goodness and an intimate working relationship will follow me all of my days,

and I get to hang out in the corner suite with my Mentor and Friend.

 

 

a weapon called unity

I limped into Good Friday and Easter, concerned about many, especially some of those closest to me. It had been a long week. You have spouses, families and friends, so I’m sure you get the gist of what I’m saying. Some weeks are hard.

Arriving at Westover’s sanctuary Thursday night for a rehearsal, I was spent. As I sat, watching and listening to the worship leaders from 5 congregations work thru the songs for our Good Friday services…my soul began to rest, and then fill up.

No prayers, really. No verses of inspiration. Nor were there any words of encouragement. Just voices.

People of 5 congregations were being the Church. Though the music was good and the musicians are talented, it was the Spirit who began lifting my heart, soul and mind.

Our Good Friday message was on Jesus’ prayer the night before He went to the cross. Jesus said things like:

“I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one--as You are in me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in us so that the world will believe You sent me. ... 

Then Your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them." – John 17:21,26

As I sat in the kind of unity Jesus prayed for us to have, and experienced it, my tired soul was refreshed. In the first few sentences of his gospel, John shared “in Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”

When we come to Jesus, and sit in His Presence, we experience His life, and His light. Hard circumstances find their proper perspectives. His light allows us to see things from our Father’s point of view.

Our souls get restored. We gain the strength to keep moving.

I could have begged out. “Too much going on; you guys don’t really need me for the rehearsal, see you tomorrow night.“

I would have missed His Presence.

When the enemy attacks us, we often think our only spiritual weapons are His Word or prayer. Sometimes we need to sit with friends, in unity, in the presence of The Lord.

This can happen every time believers gather. Unity yields His Presence. Unity isn’t always easy. Ephesians 4 tells us we have to make allowances for one another’s faults. Being unified can be work.

But, it’s worth it! His Presence heals, restores, rebuilds and removes the footholds of the enemy.

Let’s be John 17 people. We need this spiritual weapon active in our lives.

“wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17

me with Michael Dennis, Luke Norsworthy, Tom Goodman, Scott Warner and Ben Brummet. Fellow pastors that are my brothers in this community.

me with Michael Dennis, Luke Norsworthy, Tom Goodman, Scott Warner and Ben Brummet. Fellow pastors that are my brothers in this community.

who do you say I am?

Then He asked them, "But who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."- Matthew 16:15-16

 

Tomorrow is Good Friday and Sunday is Easter. This is a great weekend to consider this question every one of us will answer. Who do you say Jesus is?

If He would ask you, what would you say? Who is He to you?

Our own misconceptions, guilt, frustrations, and struggles can cause us to have an inaccurate view of God. Experiences often dictate what we think of Him. Are they good thoughts or are they bad thoughts? Is He good? Events and circumstances in a temporary world may not be the best measure of our eternal Father.

Consider Good Friday. Jesus predicted He would be going to the Cross multiple times in His ministry. In John 15, Jesus explains there is no greater love than lay down your life for your friends. Then, He did it…for you and for me.

This is a great day to ponder how much it means to be a child of God. In my search to know more of my Father’s heart, I am continually amazed at the depth of His unfailing love.

Consider God’s eternal nature. From Old Testament to the New Testament, we see God redeeming His people.

“O LORD, You are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.” – Psalm 86:5

These are David’s words. David knew God was ready to forgive. This was not based on David’s performance, but on the nature of God’s unfailing love.

Consider the father in Jesus’ story of the prodigal son. Jesus used this story to illustrate God’s love for us.

The father’s response, to his youngest squandering half his fortune, is merely a father looking down a road, for his boy to come home. Seeing his lost boy one day, the father runs to him, thrilled to have him home. There’s no reprimand, or deal worked out to repay the fortune. The father simply throws a party, to celebrate the return of his son.

“At any moment of the sad history of the prodigal, had he returned, he would have found his old father as ready to forgive as the day, too long delayed, when he did return… You have fallen a hundred times, and are ashamed to come to God again; it seems too much to expect that He will receive you again. But He will, for He is ready to forgive.” – F. B. Meyer

The verse from Psalm 86, and hundreds more like it, testifies to our Father’s steadfast love. Jesus’ story of the prodigal affirms the heart of God for us.

Friends, it is possible for our own discouragement or disappointment to cast a shadow on our Heavenly Father’s unfailing love for us. We may need to deconstruct some of our views of our Father and replace them with truth, from His Word.

This weekend take a moment to gaze at the Cross and remember what Jesus did for us. It is a great time to reconsider who we say Jesus is.

 

You’ll Never Guess What Happened When I Stopped Preparing My Sermons

I’m going to keep this brief, as I honestly could go on and on about it.

I’ve grown increasingly concerned of late that my preaching and the response of my congregation has become a bit rote. Perhaps a better word would be “predictable.” This was confirmed for me back in February when I felt the Lord ask me to not plan or prepare for any of my messages from Ash Wednesday through this past Sunday (Palm Sunday). It was basically a fast from preparation.

After a bit of wrestling on my part, I yielded to the Lord and walked into my church on Saturday, March 11th for my first “unprepared” service at ACF. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.

My strategy was simple: I’d hang out in the back of our auditorium during the worship time. I’d pray, listen, and then go with whatever God gave me in the moment.

I participated in fourteen different services during the last forty days, and I preached fourteen different “spontaneous” messages.

It was one of the most terrifying and yet exhilarating faith walks I’ve ever experienced.

Now don’t think that I just winged it, as I didn’t. That would have been both presumptuous and irresponsible.  I spent the hours I would have used for message prep just reading and studying the Bible, and praying. I prepared me, not the messages. I didn’t end up teaching on any of the passages I had studied, but I did feel very full and very personally prepared.

Yesterday as Susie and I shared some time together on our front porch, we talked about my experience these last forty days. I told her what I want to tell you now: this has dramatically changed me. And, it has totally changed the way I view preaching and teaching.

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Here’s a list of some the things I and ACF experienced during my fast from sermon prep:

1. I prayed more. There’s nothing like not preparing for a message to drive you to your knees.

2. I was more desperate. I had to listen for God’s voice and wait for his word to me. It kept me very dependent and greatly honed my listening skills.

3. Our congregations had higher expectations. I told our congregations what I was doing, and it greatly affected how they approached our weekend services. They came with curiosity and expectations, and many told me that they prayed for me during the week.

4. My messages were more Word-centered. When I plan my sermons, I typically build series out of topics that I feel the need to address. I then build individual messages from texts on those topics. But during this season of waiting for God, I didn’t feel led to a single topic. I would literally hear only a Scripture in my brain–Colossians 1, Romans 8, Psalm 22. That’s all God would give me. I typically knew almost immediately what verse or verses in the chapters God wanted me to cover. But I found it surprising how God only gave me scripture. Think there’s a lesson there?  Hmmm…

5. I was bolder. There’s something about getting a word directly from God for a specific service that makes you very confident and bold. I felt great authority as I spoke knowing that I was delivering exactly what God had given me only moments before.

6. We saw more fruit. I prayed before every message that we would see demonstrations of God’s power in each service (1 Cor 2:1-5). When it came time to call for a response, there was clear evidence of the Spirit’s increased work in our congregation. Some of the huge breakthroughs I’ve been praying for among ACFers happened in the last few weeks.

7. I felt less pressure. It’s impossible to be impressive or “preach well” when you haven’t written a message. There are no three points and a poem, no breathtaking illustrations and no tweetable comments. It’s just you, God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. As a result, I felt less pressure going in. (That is, AFTER God give me the text in each service. I felt plenty of pressure BEFORE I knew what I was speaking on.) I felt free to just deliver what God had given me, and then walk away. The rest was up to God.

8. I was more productive. I preached fourteen different messages in the last five weeks. There’s no way that I could have written and delivered that number of messages during that same time period. That type of writing and teaching load would have wiped me out. But here at the end of it, I feel refreshed and invigorated.

Lessons? I want to save those for another day. Suffice it to say that this has caused me to greatly rethink the way I approach preaching. And, it’s caused many in my congregation to rethink how they listen to a sermon. And that, on any weekend, is a win.

If you want to listen to any of the messages I shared the last few weeks, you can find them here. They begin on March 11 and end on April 9.

 

Confessions of a Heavy Drinker

One of the verses I pray regularly for myself and those close to me is John 7:37-38:

If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ John 7:37-38

I love this great promise and I find it to be a tremendous source of encouragement.

Jesus calls us to be heavy drinkers. He calls us to come daily–better, moment by moment–to him and drink of his life-giving Spirit (See John 7:39).

My confession today is that I have become an extremely heavy drinker from this well, and it is profoundly changing me.

So, by way of spurring you on in your own drinking habits, let me share how I drink and what the effects have been.

HOW TO DRINK

  1. Heavy drinking requires time reading God’s Word. The Scriptures teach that man cannot live by physical food alone, but rather by every word that God speaks. Those who regularly drink of God’s Spirit have developed the discipline of regular Bible reading. It’s the primary way God speaks to his people. As you read the Bible, the Spirit will fill, teach and cleanse you.text_rsz_colorado_2_006
  2. Heavy drinking involves listening prayer. Prayer is obviously talking to God. We worship him, confess before him, thank him and make requests of him. But if we’re going to drink from his Spirit, we have to learn the type of prayer that involves listening. This takes longer and requires you to be still and quiet. But as you sit before God and wait on him, his Spirit will fill you.
  3. Heavy Drinking invites the fulness of God’s Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 exhorts us to constantly seek the filling of God’s Spirit. I ask God’s Spirit to fill me at least once a day, but usually several times a day. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, turn my hands palms up and invite the Holy Spirit to fill me. It’s always a powerful, cleansing and refreshing moment for me.

As I said above, I have been profoundly effected by my drinking habit. Here are just a few of the blessings that have resulted from my drinking.

  1. Rivers. The amazing promise of Jesus is that our drinking from his well leads to rivers (note the plural) of life-giving water flowing out of us. He is referring to his Holy Spirit. It’s really a powerful image: not only do we get filled, we actually splash wherever we go. Those who drink heavily from Jesus have a magnetism, a contagion, a life-giving presence at attracts and blesses others. We should literally, by the power of God’s Spirit in us, leave impressions of Jesus with everyone we meet.
  2. Joy. Joy is that sense of contentment and peace that trumps circumstances. It comes from deep within a person, and is an obvious fruit of being filled with the Spirit. Heavy drinkers are joyful people. It’s impossible to drink regularly from the deep wells of Jesus’ love and goodness and not be joyful.
  3. Peace. Peace, like joy, is another fruit of God’s Spirit. Those who drink steadily from the Lord will know amazing peace. In fact, Paul called it peace that is beyond comprehension (Phil 4:7). Biblical peace is not the absence of conflict or trouble, it’s the presence of the Prince of Peace. Those who drink of God’s Spirit enjoy his presence in their lives, and his presence tends to trump or cancel out all the junk that we deal with daily. God’s presence doesn’t prevent life’s chaos, but it does make it much more bearable.
  4. Perspective. With the fulness that comes with drinking from Jesus’ well comes also the view from eternity. Jesus’ Spirit helps us see things from his perspective. When I am filled with God’s Spirit, I see headlines differently. The world’s troubles and my own problems become much less significant. I’m able to stay much more restful in my spirit and not overreact or panic when things go south. The promise God spoke through Paul, “The Lord is near,” (Phil 4:4), reminds me that God is still in control and hasn’t abandoned me. And when I have God’s perspective on things, I’m able to live from much more of a Kingdom mindset.

I wonder if you need to start drinking more. There is a reason the scriptures exhort us not o get drunk with wine, but to be filled with God’s Spirit.

Jesus’ invitation is for you right now, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink . . . .”

 

prayer

excerpt from Prayer by Richard Foster

"The key to this home, this heart of God, is prayer. Perhaps you have never prayed before except in anguish or terror. It may be that the only time the Divine Name has been on your lips has been in angry expletives. Never mind. I am here to tell you that the Father's heart is open wide - you are welcome to come in.

Perhaps you do not believe in prayer. You may have tried to pray and were profoundly disappointed..and disillusioned. You seem to have little faith, or none. It doesn't matter. The Father's heart is wide open - you are welcome to come in.

Perhaps you are bruised and broken by the pressures of life. Others have wronged you, and you feel scarred for life. You have old, painful memories that have never been healed. You avoid prayer because you feel too distant, too unworthy, too defiled. Do not despair. The Father's heart is wide open - you are welcome to come in.

Hebrews 10:19-22

Hebrews 10:19-22

Perhaps you have prayed for many years, but the words have grown brittle and cold. Little ever happens anymore. God seems remote and inaccessible. Listen to me. The Father's heart is wide open - you are welcome to come in.

Perhaps prayer is the delight of your life. You have lived in the divine mile for a long time and can attest to its goodness. But you long for more: more power, more love, more of God in your life. Believe me. The Father's heart is open wide - you too are welcome to come higher up and deeper in.

If the key is prayer, the door is Jesus Christ. How good of God to provide us a way to His heart."

Psalm 62:5-8

Psalm 62:5-8