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Friday, April 16, 2010

"I Will Go"

Where to start...last night the Bates shared about what a needy country Denmark is. Afterwards I talked to Mrs. Bates and she said that it would be great if there were singles or couples willing to go there as tentmakers. She said that the Danes are more reserved than Southern Europeans and that the only place they really make relationships is at their job. So if one were to go and work alongside them, one could have many opportunities to develop relationships with them and share the gospel with them. She also said that immorality is pretty blatant there and that there are red light districts. Oh, the pain those people must be going through! They are searching, but no one will go and tell them! I will. I will go. Lord, here’s my life. I realize that my plans to make movies and work in a recording studio are very selfish and me-focused. But now I am dead. You died for me so that I (who no longer live, but Christ lives through me) might live for You, who died for the sake of those “every man”s all around the world. I am willing to work in the deserts of Africa, willing to labor on the plains of Uruguay, willing to translate the Bible in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, and willing to labor as a tentmaker in the forgotten fields of Denmark. But I don’t have the strength; I don’t have the knowledge. I’m not even out of high school. I don’t have extraordinary abilities, crowd-drawing talents, or dazzling smarts. I forget to pray, I struggle to get out of my box, I grow weary of my schoolwork, and I have bad attitudes at times. You love me just the way I am, but too much to leave me like this. By the power of Your Spirit in me, I can change; I can grow to be more like You. Let me never forget that I am here to know You and to make You known. I don’t know where You are leading me, but I trust You completely. Take my life, and use it for Your glory. Take my heart, and make it ever more like You. Take my voice and lips, use them to spread Your message of salvation and truth. Take my hands, and let them show Your love and kindness to others. Take my feet, may they ever serve to spread Your good news to others. Take my mind, and use any knowledge that it contains to glorify Yourself and to show Your truth to the world. Take all that is within me, Abba; I offer myself as a living sacrifice to You. Control me with Your Spirit, fill me with Your love to share with others, and give me grace to live as You would live; grant me life that I might spread Your joy to others.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Prayer Journal Entry #65: Missing the "OOMPH!"

Dear God, (April 29th, 2009)
Lord, temper my zeal. I get so passionate about the hungry, the hurting and the lost that I’m afraid I’m running over people. I just don’t want to hold this "soft, cushy, warm and fuzzy gospel" that believers around me cling so tightly to. But neither do I want to run over people in my zeal, for that would turn them away from You. Help me to proclaim Your truth in humility and love without compromising its message or watering it down.
Father, I want so much for those around me to see! To really realize that they are missing the "OOMPH!" that comes with the true, undiluted gospel. The Christians around me have so much theology and knowledge, yet they have climbed in bed with the materialistic, comfort-mindset of this American culture. Pure theology is good, yes, but it is meant to be lived out! The apostle’s belief in God translated into action in their lives! Ours is a passive Christianity. We claim to believe in God, yet we do not help deliver the orphan, the poor, the afflicted, the widow, the hungry, and those in bondage. How then can we claim to follow Christ, who did all of the above, and called us to walk just as he walked? We lie on our beds in our own virtual world with our iPods turned up full blast so that we cannot hear the cries of the afflicted and the screams of the lost as they plunge into hell.
O Lord, I want so much to wake us Christians from our slumber! But how? Father, do not let me get in Your way. Please use me. Make me more like You. I love You so much.
Yours Forever,

Prayer Journal Entry #64: Sign Your Name to the End of this Day

Dear God, (March 30th, 2009)
What a day this has been! I started it off at 5am by spending time with You. I spent 30 minutes in Your Word, and another 30 minutes on my knees, praying to You. Starting my day by meeting with You definetly got me off to a good start. It set the right tone for my whole day.
I spent a good portion of my day reading 2 Samuel and 2 Kings and the first half of 1 Chronicles. I also spent a half hour listening to Ezekiel on my MP3 player while I exercised. Through all of those Old Testament passages, I saw myself in the Israelites. I too often reject or ignore God and turn to idols instead.
O Lord, give me an undivided heart for You! I want to serve You and love You with everything that I am. I want to love You with my whole heart. I want to love You with all my mind. I want to love You with every bit of my soul. I want to love You with every ounce of my strength. Help my mind and its every thought to be wholly devoted to You. May every word that I speak not bring glory or applause to me, but may it bring glory and praise to You alone. May my every deed and action be out of service and devotion to You. This is the day that You have made—I want to give every moment of it back to You. I want to live for You alone. I want to be able to sign Your name at the end of this day, knowing that my heart was true.
Yours Forever,

Prayer Journal Entry #63: "In me nothing good dwells..."

Dear God, (March 24th, 2009)
Forgive me. I am so full of myself. I always think that I know what I am doing. I am so stuck on myself, even my relationship with You has been so self-centered. It’s all about me, what I feel or don’t feel like doing; it’s about my needs, my wants, what I can get out of it. Look at me—I’m such a wonderful, spiritual Christian because I get up at 5 in the morning to have my quiet time! But even then, it’s still all about me, how I’m so tired, exhausted, discouraged, etc. When it should be about You!
(continued 3/26/09) Lord, I am sick and tired of living life with my own agenda foremost in mind. I want to live this life with Your priorities at heart. I want You and Your kingdom to come first. O help me, Father! My spirit is indeed willing, but my flesh is weak.
I want to see my sin the way You see it. I want to hate it the way You hate it. I want to hunger and thirst for Your righteousness. I’m sick of this world’s junk food that I keep feeding myself. I want to desire You more than anything else. I want to be able to worship You in Spirit and in truth. I want to give myself to You, but I know that in me nothing good dwells. I am corrupt; I am so depraved and utterly sinful. I am an idolater; I have worshipped other things more than You, in fact, at times, I completely ignore You and do not give You the honor, glory, praise, adoration or worship that You deserve. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.
Yours Forever,

Prayer Journal Entry #62: Losing Focus

Dear God, (March 16th, 2009)
I feel like being mad at You, but I know that that wouldn’t solve anything. I can’t let how I feel dictate what I believe about You or how I live my life. I know that all You have allowed in my life is for my good and Your glory.
I’m so exhausted, Father, and I don’t know why. My mind feels so foggy and my thoughts are muddled and confused. Please give me peaceful rest, my Abba. Help me to still be able to rise early and spend time with You, even when I am so tired.
Rekindle the fire in my heart, O God. I am losing my focus. I am finding myself thinking that maybe I shouldn’t go into missions, that it doesn’t really matter how I spend my time or my life. I just feel like having fun and staying here in KC (where I know people) forever. I don’t feel like getting uncomfortable and moving somewhere new. Oh God, what is wrong with me?!? I say that I trust You, yet I doubt that You’ll provide a missions-minded husband for me. I doubt that You’ll provide the money for me to make it through NTBI without going into debt. I want to trust You, Lord; please help my unbelief.
I am not showing Your love to others; I am showing way too much selfish, proud, stubborn Rachel. Help me to show You and Your love to those around me. I must decrease; O Father, please increase!
Yours Forever,

Prayer Journal Entry #61: Smashing Idols

Dear God, (March 11th, 2009)
I am failing to meet my personal goals. I am battling apathy in my heart. God, I want to care about You. I want to be truly passionate about You.
We listened to a tape last night in which the speaker said that if there is a distinct lack of passion for God in our lives, then something is seriously wrong. It means that we have idols in our hearts that are getting the attention and devotion that You deserve. I think that is very true. In fact, I think that that’s what the problem is in my life. I have idols that I need to identify, repent of and then SMASH and replace with You. I think my biggest idol is probably the fear of man. I care too much what others think of me. I do a lot of things just so that other people will notice me. I get upset when people ignore me or talk to/spend time with others instead. How can I put You as #1 and still spend time with people? I want to be satisfied with You, and not go to others for my comfort and security.
Oh, God, I am not loving You with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. I am giving my time, focus, and attention to things and not to You. I am loving others and their attention more than I am loving You. I am giving things and projects more focus and time than I am giving You. I am proud, vain and self-centered. I am trying to get, get, get in relationships instead of giving. I am such a hypocrite! I profess to know You and love You, yet I serve my idols more than I serve You! I do not love You with an undivided heart! Oh ABBA, FORGIVE ME!
Yours Forever,

Prayer Journal Entry #60: Idolatry

Dear God, (March 10th, 2009)
I have been reading the book of Jeremiah, where it talks about God’s judgement on Israel for their idolatry. Oh Lord, I am just as guilty of idolatry as they were. I look for comfort and security in things other than You. I devote my time and affection to others and let other things take #1 priority in my life. O God, forgive me! Give me an undivided heart. Help me to love You with ALL of my heart, with ALL of my soul, with ALL of my mind and with ALL of my strength. Only You deserve my undivided devotion, for You have made me and You have saved me. Help me to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness.
This is the day that You have made; help me to not only rejoice in it, but also to live it for You and You alone. You have given me this day to live; help the way I live it to give it back to You.
I want to follow You; I want to obey You, but sometimes it is so hard to know what You would have me do. There are so many other voices in my life trying to tell me what to do. So many Christians are full of advice and how-to’s about how to know Your will, what You want me to do with my life, etc. I want to tune them out if they are not telling me the truth. I want to know what You have to say about life, not what pop culture Christianity says. Help me to stay tuned in to Your voice, Abba. Help me to focus on You. You are amazing. I love You!
Yours Forever,