My life verse

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I’ve settled on Ephesians 1:5- 6 as my life verse (for right now!). “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”

Paul is encouraging me to really understand that I exist solely so that someone can look at my life and see how marvelous God is for providing Jesus to create a way to be reconciled with God, have peace with Him and have a perfect record credited to one’s account.  These two verses are very challenging!

Every day I pray one of John Piper’s prayers:  Lord, may the words of my mouth and the actions of my hands serve to magnify the infinite worth of Jesus Christ and his death.

The only problem is that I haven’t yet lived a day and done that!  I tend to end up magnifying myself.  Yesterday, I chatted with the truck driver who delivered our Florida fruit for the Sophomore Class fruit and peanut sale.  I asked him how he spent his hours on the road.  When he mentioned that he liked to listen to Howard Stern, I launched into my sales pitch about podcasts and how there is so much rich material one can download from the internet.  I signed his delivery paperwork, he left and I realized that I had wasted an opportunity to make a plug for how marvelous Jesus is.  I actually was motivated to show him how marvelous Maria is.

This is the story of my life up through yesterday, but I live in hope that one of these days I actually will witness to Christ.  Not what he has done for me, but just what he has done, in history.

Pray at all times with anxiety…

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Prayer and anxiety

Sometimes I pray as though the outcome were up to me.  If I don’t pray enough, or with the right fervency, then my prayers might not be effective, so goes my reasoning.  After all, how does one know when one has prayed enough?  I’ve heard of people praying until they feel a peace.  There have been occasional  times when I have ‘felt’ fervent while praying, with even a few tears to boot regarding an issue close to my heart.  On those rare occasions,  I only stopped praying because I ran out of things to say to God.  Is that the kind of peace that is meant?

I was listening to D.A. Carson talk about prayer, using Paul’s exhortations in Philippians not to be anxious, to pray with thanksgiving and then to think about whatever is true and lovely.

I realized from one of his illustrations, that I can often be frenetic in my prayers.  But what is far better is to pray in faith and not in anxiety.   By this I mean that I should ask specifically for what is needed and desired and then focus the rest of my thoughts on God’s character, his past provisions and his promises.  Directing my mind in that direction will give me rest and grow my trust in God’s sovereignty.  Praying fervently with anxiety is just worry with a fake spiritual veneer.

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