how to build a house of prayer: look for flags of JOY
As for me and my house, we will make the beds.
As for me and my house, we will play star wars.
As for me and my house, we will stomp when we get mad.
We thaw the meat, write our posts, call our friends, manipulate, and often be a whiny chorus,
BUT we rarely, in the little, treadmill things, we rarely serve the LORD, act out a house of prayer.
See us at church; see my arms aching to raise surprised by autumn wind; see our prayer before a meal,
but what overarches and overshadows, what lends its hue, is my own heart attitude and its state of JOY when life is an unexciting treadmill covered in yogurt fingerprints and vain imaginations.
I’ve said before that JOY only comes unnaturally for me, my great Helper burning in me an awareness of His presence.
Now when I pursue Him who is my JOY, I have to pause. I have to reel in the nature that jumps out like a whip; and, the only way to reel, the only way to wave the battle flags of JOY, is for me to pray, and only lately am I learning that this means to pray with my little ones.
You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:11)
To stop, hold a little hand, and confess that there is God at the center (Christ indwelling me!) is to lash out with those invisible weapons of the Spirit. A house of prayer restores our hearts to JOY, and with JOY, only in awareness of His presence, do we serve.
I correct the whining. I wait longer than I want. I do the piddly, and I serve. I teach service. I teach prayer. I teach JOY. We meet on the grounds of prayer in discipline at the foot of the cross, and I see that what I pray for them is what I pray for myself – all children. I meet them eye to eye. And JOY cloaks us. Joy is our reminder to return to Him.
Slow down. STOP even. And Return to Him. Again and again and again and again.
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, […] But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15)
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