(Friends, during our time away, a number of thoughts and experiences occurred that crystalized into messages I'll send along this week. Thanks, Glen)
"Opportunities For Prayer"
We encountered a dangerous place on the Appalachian Trail during our hike last week. Rather than the stony paths that characterize most of the Trail, we came upon a shelf of rock that required our climbing up and down in order to make our way. This would have been no problem, except for the narrowness of the shelf - and the steep precipice that bordered the rock. Any slip to the right would have led to a disastrous, likely fatal fall. I'm glad to say that we navigated the challenge, by God's good grace, and I'm also glad to now have a new opportunity for prayer, namely for those who will come upon this particularly difficult part of the Appalachian Trail.
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men" (I Timothy 2:1).
So many glories of the aforementioned "God's good grace" present themselves in our privileged calling to pray for others. We honor and please our Heavenly Father when we commune with Him (Proverbs 15:8). We also serve as "laborers together with God" in the fulfillment of His purposes (I Corinthians 3:9). Our hearts are filled with the fulfillment that only comes as we consciously walk with the Life of our lives (Philippians 1:21). And in the current consideration, God grants to us the possibility of having impact and effect on others in countless ways of "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks". I have no doubt we experienced that rocky shelf for the purpose of remembering its hazard, and even more, for remembering to pray for those who encounter the challenge.
Of course, our main intercession will involve relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ in those for whom we pray. We can be confident of the potential for such illumination in this circumstance because "the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead" (Romans 1:21). I thought much about this blessed Truth as we walked the Trail. Both the beauty and the challenge of a walk in the woods speak to the reality of their Creator, and of dependence on Him for "life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25). Creation exists to redound with the sound of His dynamically involved existence, and that rocky ledge speaks forth with messages to all who will listen. Our privileged responsibility calls us to pray that people will hear and realize Who it is that communicates His truth in "the things that are made".
Opportunities for prayer. They present themselves far more than we realize, imparting the possibility for God's trusting children in Christ to powerfully impact people in countless ways. Or rather, we serve as the means whereby God impacts people through our intercession for His glory and their benefit. What a gift, what a privilege, and what a responsibility! That rocky ledge spoke of such things to my and Frances's hearts, and we rejoice in it ongoing calling to approach our Heavenly Father for those who will encounter its challenge and its message.
"And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory."
Weekly Memory Verse
Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
(II Thessalonians 2:16-17)