For the past bit, I have been doing an exercise in digging into the word. I was listening to a teaching series on the power of a focused life, and was moved by this piece. If we ask Christians if they read their bible, of course we say “yes.” BUT… how much time are we truly spending in the word each day? (More than with tv?) The speaker went on to say that for many of us, it’s hard to just know where to start. The whole I’m just going to open it and read where God leads, leaves many feeling that they are missing something… SO… he shared this. Did you know that if you read 10 chapters a day, 6 days a week, that you will have read the entire new testament in 30 days??? I’m a goal setter kind of girl, so that really hit me! Now.. somedays 10 chapters is alot… Especially if you’re going to let it soak in at all. However, having a goal in mind has really helped me reprioritize my time. Because I’ve done some life coaching, I also know that 30 days is the amount of time it takes to form a new habit. So…. I’m on the journey. Reading my 10 chapters a day (with some grace applied – I’m human and I’m a mom, a wife, in ministry, etc.) and then blogging about what really stuck out to me!

I’m posting this morning from yesterday’s reading, which was 2 Thess. & 1 Tim.

Ladies, let me tell you, there’s a verse in here that I absolutely LOVE…

1 Timothy 2:8 –
“I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.”

I remember when I first came to church with my husband while we were dating. I came from a very conservative background, and people everywhere in his church were raising their hands and singing. Then they asked us to get into small groups and pray “out loud” together (I was mortified and just passed when my “turn” came.) After the service… his son was wrestling with someone… in the sanctuary (Gasp…..) This was WAY out of my comfort zone! My, how God has worked on me since that time.

God wants us to worship him. That means different things to different people. However, I hold firm that it’s hard to let our hearts be completely free with him if we have anger or disputes. So many times in my life, I’ve seen others abandonded in prayer and worship and asked God…. 1) what’s up with them? That can’t be for real – which really meant – 2) God I’m jealous of how they can give themselves competely to you so I am going to judge their actions.

In the last few years, God has taught me a lot about lifting up hands in prayer. Not only in acceptance in how people worship, but also in entering his presence with a right heart. You see, when I was so busy worrying about others experience, it was ME that was preventing me from worshipping and praying to God all out. It wasn’t him. I needed to change my posture. I needed to examine my heart and realize that whatever bitterness I was harboring was keeping me from getting closer to him. God calls me to love others. When I’m not operating in love, I’m out of his will for me. (which, by the way happens daily:-( But again, he’s a God of grace!)

“Thank you Jesus for inviting us to worship you. For loving our prayers and for the reassurance that worship and prayer can go together. Wow God. For me, much worship and prayer happens to music and I so thank you for the beautiful gifts you’ve given so many in leading music. (and thank you for nice car trips where I can really let lose!) When I’m still before you Lord, you move my inner being. Thank you for the quiet times, when I can hear from you. I continue to be amazed by you. So today,we raise up holy hands, to praise the holy, who was and is, and is to come…”