pray without ceasing

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds;
and to the one who knocks,
the door will be opened.

Luke 11: 9-10


(San José y San Miguel de Aguayo, the “Queen of the Missions/ San Antonio, TX/ Julie Cook / 2014)

I have, as we have been told, to pray without ceasing.

Or so it seems.

Yet words such as exasperating, frustrating, maddening creep upwards
melding with the prayerful petitions.

Silence.

Then I am reminded, once again, that God, to whom I lift my words, my petitions, my prayers
is a God without time nor space…
He is not defined nor held by the restraints of my world’s limitations…

And so I am to pray without ceasing…

which means, without ceasing….

“Knock.
Persevere in knocking, even to the point of rudeness, if that were possible.
There is a way of forcing God and wresting his graces from him,
and that way is to ask continually with a firm faith.
We must think, with the Gospel:
‘Ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you,’
which he then repeats by saying,
‘Everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened’
(Luke 11:9-10).
We must, therefore, pray during the day, pray at night, and pray every time we rise.
Even though God seems either not to hear us or even to reject us,
we must continually knock, expecting all things from God but nevertheless also acting ourselves.
We must not only ask as though God must do everything himself;
we must also make our own effort to act according to his will and with the help of his grace,
as all things are done with his support.
We must never forget that it is always God who provides;
to think thus is the very foundation of humility.”

Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, p.35
An Excerpt From
Meditations for Lent

the exchange for the lie….

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie,
and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—
who is forever praised.
Amen.

Romans 1:25

When the truth of God is turned to a lie,
his glory is obliterated.

John Calvin


(a purple passion flower found blooming deep in the Georgia woods / Julie Cook / 2017)

When I frist read today’s quote by John Calvin regarding turing God’s truth to a lie…
which therefore obliterated His glory…
I thought “YES, that’s it!”
“That’s what’s going on here”…
“That’s exactly what they’re doing…”
“They’re taking God’s word and altering it to fit the skewed and warped desires of
these current times of ours.”

“Twisting and turning everything God has uttered into some sort of carnal, wanton
and depraved acknowledgement which in turn makes these current times of wants
and desires all really ok.”

It’s been done ever so slyly with a deletion of a word here, a new interpretation or
altered context or sentence there…
and magically it’s now POOF….!!!!!
What once was a “no, not a good idea,” is now a defiant and triumphant “Yes” equating
to everything and anything now being perfectly fine and acceptable…

And in so doing… the Truth has been turned into a lie, thus obliterating and smashing
the glory of God into smithereens….

And just so we’re clear, the said “they” in all of this is pretty much our current
culture and society…
So the “they” is really pretty much us….

Yet…after reading the sentence several times over and over, I sat for a bit pondering
the statement further.

Whereas man has taken God’s words and altered, rearranged and reworded them to fit
neatly into man’s desired wants….
nothing about God has been obliterated….
Because no matter what man does or says, he cannot, will not “obliterate” God.

Nietzsche’s famous proclamation of God being dead did not render God dead…
for man cannot “kill” the Omnipotent Creator…
despite his attempt to rid God from man’s own mind, heart and life….
man does not have that power.

It’s like the angry child who stomps a foot and proclaims to be now ignoring
whomever it is who has incurred his or her wrath….
in essence attempting to render said individual, null and void, dead and gone…
the epitome out of sight and out of mind.

Yet God being outside of both space and time does not conform nor fit into man’s limited
restraints of such.
He is greater than as well as beyond limitations.
And because of that, He is incapable of being obliterated or “killed”
or even contained for that matter.

It is the clarity of observation made by Lauren Green in her newly published book
Lighthouse Faith that sums this all up in once simple sentence…
“that we live in the reality of God’s world,
not He in ours.”

So whereas man may think that he’s being overtly cleaver in his smug superiority–
creating verse and word according to himself…
the Truth which is both inside and outside of both space and time, cannot
be rendered anything other than what it is…
that simply being the Truth….

Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king.
For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.
Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.”
Pilate said to him,
“What is truth?”

John 18:37-38

“Certainty tolerates no limitation”

Hodie nobis caelorum Rex de virgine nasci dignatus est,
ut hominem perditum ad regna caelestia revocaret,
gaudet exercitus angelorum,
quia salus eterna humano …

(Today the King of heaven deigned to be born for us of a virgin,
that he might call lost man back to the heavenly kingdom,
the host of angels rejoices,
because eternal salvation has appeared to the human race.)

1014
(Northern Italian antiphonal illuminated manuscript with text of song above / 15th century )

Whoever lives in God does not look behind him, but forward.
Whoever is alive (whoever does not fall prey to deathly atrophy of his inner life)
does not look backward—
be it over the short span of his own life or the greater span of history–
to find a realization of his longing.
He looks forward,
toward the goal,
toward the destiny of humanity as it should be and as it shall be.
He who puts his hand to the plow looks forward.
He lives “now” in the future.
He who looks back and loses himself
in historical speculation and his own inner reveries is not fit for God’s kingdom.

Advent hope is certainty of faith that shows itself in action through mutual
responsibility for the whole of life.
The church of Christ is the fellowship of this hope.
It believes so unreservedly that it is convinced that the divine must conquer the demonic,
that love must conquer hate, that the all-embracing must conquer the isolated.
Certainty tolerates no limitation.
God embraces everything.
When we trust in him for the future, we trust for the present.
When we have faith in him, our faith holds true for everything that touches our lives.

Eberhard Arnold
When the Time Was Fulfilled
Christmas Meditations
Plough Publishing House