Monday, February 13, 2006

Body, Soul & Spirit

This morning I dropped Bailey off at school and headed to Shelly Lake to get some physical and spiritual exercise. It was cold, so I wrapped up. Well, of course I had my iPod handy (although praying and hearing Nelly, Usher and Kayne can be a bit distracting & alarming...Here is my prayer "Lord help me to live a holy life," here is Nelly "can't wait to get the girl in her birthday suit.") So, anyhow...I wanted to connect with God, but I also needed to get some exercise in. Here are some thoughts I had on my prayer walk:

Don't listen to Hip Hop music while you pray.

Praying in nature should be by far in everyones "prayer diet." It just helps and seems so right. I would encourage you to get out and connect with God. It doesn't feel like "traditional" prayer, it's more of a conversation...A time were two worlds collide and create a sense of beauty and mystery. Also, there are by far less distractions.

BTW, listening to U2 while you pray is a good thing. The famed "I still haven't found what I'm looking for," song came on and it's such a beautiful penned poem. When you connect with God and culture it creates a sense of urgency. The last few nights Necole and I watched "Lord of War" and "The Contant Gardner," these flicks have caused such a great burden on my soul. There is by far to much injustice in our world. I feel deep in my spirit that God wants to use my life (and your life) to stand up for those who don't have a voice; who are marginalized and hopeless. So, I prayed for Bono and Steven to continue their works in Africa. That somehow, someway they can be a voice of love, grace and hope in Africa. I also thought of the Tsunami victims... I wondered how life is in Phucket; Since the world no longer seems worried about them, they are not "newsworthy" any more. Also, what about New Orleans, I hardly hear anything about that city...Are folks recovering, is there enough help? It's hard to realize that I can't change the world (per se) but I also can't allow my life to be one of inaction. How can I pray and connect with God, but ignore the struggles and grief that is taking place all throughout our world? We can't allow prayer to be an "inward focused, spirtual exercise," this is why prayer is dangerous. When you pray, God will cause you to act. And acting on the move of God is risky, and it may cause you to get out of your comfort zone. (what a thought)

Also, I'm not all that proud of much of my pentecostal heritage. Sometimes I look back at my life and I want to throw up; So, I do the next best thing and block it out. In reality, I really do not connect with any "one" denomination; it's no longer important to me and I think it's counter productive to the story of Jesus and the cause of the church. I for one do not want to be improperly labeled because of of some association with denominations. That's why I love Acts 29 (although, they do have a system of beliefs that must be followed, but they are still open source and free flowing) & emergent. I want to be known as a follower of Jesus. Not a Pentecostal follower of Jesus, or a Baptist follower of Jesus, but just a follower of Jesus Christ. That being said, beware my Bapitst friends, Pentecostal talk is ahead. :) I'm so grateful that God has given me a prayer language. (gasp for air) Now, rarely do I discuss this, and I think my Charistmatic and Penecostal folks ABUSE this gift way to much, as for me it's very private. But, it's also glorious; I love the mystery and beauty that the prayer language brings. It helps me understand that I do serve a super natural God, that my walk with God is not only intellectual or formulaic; But God is much bigger than me and that is what I'm mediating on today...The bigness of God.

All that being said, my prayer today was one of action, how can I be a voice of healing in our world? How can Christ use my life to make the world a better place? I don't know all the answers, but I guess that's why I'll be taking a lot more more prayer walks in my life.

Last thing, I'm reading the Old Testament, by no means do I want to get into the "Bible controversary," but when I read the OT I get so MAD, so my prayer today was this, 'God, why did you kill (or allow) so many people, and why did you allow certain types of slavery?" Ok, more on that later this week. Peace and love and go on a prayer walk, it's good for the Spirt, Soul & Body!

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