Yesterday, a man shared his story with me.
In 2005, in the midst of a major heart attack, he said he knew he was going to die. During the attack, all he could think of was his mother, who he knew was in heaven. I wanted to see my mother. All I could think of was my mother. But, I wasn’t sure where I would go when I died. And I knew I was going to die. So, I asked God to give me more time, so I could be sure. He did. I didn’t die that day.
I asked him how that day changed him. He simply said, “I know Jesus is my Redeemer, now. I had asked the Lord into my life at age fifteen, but hadn’t walked with him. I walk with him now. I know I am going to heaven when I die.”
Prayer is a two way conversation with God. It takes many forms. Quick, last-minute, help-me-God prayers. Long, sustained hours of perserverance and patience prayers. Desperate, life-saving, I-won’t-make-it-if-you-don’t intervene prayers. Peter, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, saw Jesus feed the five thousand. Saw Jesus walk on water. Saw Jesus do miracles. Heal the sick. AND, watched followers turn away from Jesus, because his teaching was too hard. Too difficult to follow. John 6: 60-69 says, “On hearing it [Jesus’ teaching], many of his disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’
Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, ‘Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spiritand they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, ‘This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.’ From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.'”
Peter’s question is the key. Peter’s answer to his own question unlocks the door to our faith. He says, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” F. B. Meyer writes, “Peter knew that the soul of man must go somewhere. It must go outside itself for living water and satisfying bread. There had awoke in his soul cravings for the eternal, the infinite, and the divine. He had known nothing of these in earlier days, which seemed so far away, before the voice of the Baptist had rung out its clarion appeal and startled his slumbering soul. But since he has awoke to the realities of the spiritual world, all former sources of inspiration and instruction had failed to satisfy. To whom shall we go at this time of world-weariness? To whom shall we go when our souls have suddenly awoke to the majesty of the Eternal Presences, which as hidden by the glare of pleasure, but emerge in hours of lonliness, change, sorrow, and loss? To whom shall we go when one by one the lights which we have trusted die out in the sky, and neither sun nor stars shine for many days, and no small tempest lies upon the distraught soul?” (Peter, by F. B. Meyer)
I awoke today with a craving in my soul for the divine, the infinite, the eternal. Several emails this week have pierced my soul and brought me to God on their behalf. I only know one place to go—to God. He holds the eternal words of life. Go to God today. Cry out to him. He is listening. He will capture your tears in his bottle and tranform them into joy. He will transform you from worrier to warrior. He will lift your burden and lighten your load. Take a moment to let this visual prayer aid wash over you. I did. My computer became an altar.
Close your eyes.
Let the words and worship be your prayer tool today.
Isaiah 43 is my absolute favorite word from God. May it minister to you.
May you be blessed and encouraged in the WORD of GOD.