I have come to the end of my Bible study, Reflecting Him, by Carla McDougal. I'm kind of sad! It's like coming to the end of a remarkable book. You love it because you've made it through, but you're kind of sad to see it end.
I have more than one review left, however...there's just too much to share! In week five, Carla talks about prayer as she goes through the rooms of her house. Regarding the kitchen, she says: "God desires our prayers to be thorough, as if we were helping to prepare a feast. You know, the kind that requires cutting, chopping, measuring, stirring, heating, cleaning, etc. When we seek the Lord with all of our heart, He will guide us in how to pray. When we labor in prayer, it requires our time, energy, devotion, stillness, love, selflessness, and listening skills." pg. 94, Reflecting Him.
Now I don't know about you, but that's a Bible study for 10 weeks right there! My goodness what a power packed paragraph! I have spent time making a meal like that...chopping, measuring, all that. And that's not easy for me with my hands.
I suppose really getting into laborious prayer isn't easy either. But things that come too easy in life aren't appreciated, in my humble opinion. My Momma always told me to pray specifically. Not like "God bless so and so", but to really pray specifically for that person and their needs. If they are going to a job interview, pray that if it is God's will they will have favor with the interviewer. That they get the job if that is their place in God's plan. That they wake up refreshed that morning, that traffic isn't a nightmare, all the little details.
One more thing I must mention: During this week I came across a footnote in the Life Application Study Bible (which I highly recommend) from 1 Kings 8: "For 480 years after Israel's escape from Egypt, God did not ask them to build a temple for Him. Instead, he emphasized the importance of His Presence among them and their need for spiritual leaders. It is easy to think of a building as the focus of God's presence and power, but God chooses and uses people to do His work. He can use you more than He can use a building of wood and stone. Building or enlarging a place of worship may be necessary, but it should NEVER take priority over developing spiritual leaders." (emphasis mine)
Can I get an AMEN?!? Our ability to communicate with God and make Him the center of our lives has nothing to do with "buildings of wood and stone." I know this is a tender spot for me, and I guess I'm a bit up on my soap box, but as Carla McDougal talks about in Week 5 of Reflecting Him, your HOME is your prayer sanctuary. It is far more important to know God and seek Him while He may be found than it is to make sure your church building in spotless and shiny.
I just wish people would really understand what is important. Feed the hungry. Take care of the widows and orphans. That's His message. That's my message. It should be ALL Christians' message, denominations aside, fancy buildings aside, fancy clothing aside, money aside: we are CALLED to take care of the least of these.
And it all starts in your home.