“Love casts us to Prayer, to worship Our King”….a worship poem by Linda Willows

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Worship is dancing to the Face I adore,
A rapture of seeking, a heart’s joyful implore.
Spilling the melodies of the prayers of Love’s kind,
Oh Lord, I motion with my Heart’s full unwind.

This, but to You Lord, for no other would know,
How fully and deeply my heart’s crevice goes.
Unlike an earthly carved place of Love’s meet,
It winds all the way into this ancient heart’s beat.

Worship is apart like one precious pearls’ shine
It glints like a thousand stars blinking in time.
Gesturing, healing, heralding heavens to sing…
Love casts us to prayer, to worship Our King.

© 2017 Linda Willows

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“You, Lord are the Sanctuary that Love keeps”…Prayer of appeal and faith from LWillows

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Jesus, I need You..there must be a way to find You Near — for You, Lord are the Sanctuary that Love keeps….a Prayer of appeal and devotion from LWillows...sometimes life, hope and faith are deeply personal experiences and testimonies, yet the hope that Faith brings is for all to know. May you be given Love  and encouragement today.

Tears fall, I turn from the ocean of grief that rises.
I search for the one oasis that can save me; my only hope…
huddling in a cave of the deepest silence
I pulled all up and around my face like a cloak.
There was nothing on the outside of that moment that could help me.

I could only seek You, Jesus..
I need You. Christ Jesus, please be there..Please be here with me.
I closed my eyes pulling into a darkness so far that it approaches light. This, my tunnel, searching, for the path to Your Cross. I had gone to you before. Before and before.  Found. Christ Jesus. You always did come Near on Love’s appeal.
There must be a way to find you Near again.
I know that You are can be with me.

I know that You can be Here. I appealed…Oh my Lord I am seeking you.
I began to speak and pour out my heart, knowing that You would hear me
as as I spoke to You…as all of me fell like the whole a being with nothing attached to an “elsewhere”, or an other gravity holding me….

I began to see Your Face.
It looked like many thousands of lights coming together into a Form
that was leaning in towards me with Love.

You looked like a radiance, a galaxy unknown but Real, able to pull close enough to Touch with arms that reached into eternity from an eternity.
You felt like Comfort, My Father of Forever, a Nest of Love that I would never want to leave. Tears of love and relief replaced all else.

I told you each thing that was heavy upon my heart
Every burden fell from me as I unfurled like a child in the arms of her Father.

All that had formed me into a frightened and hopeless one poured
out to you.
I reached the end of my own limits.
I shivered with the pain and anxiety all that has held me captive
and wept before you at of that which has caused suffering in my heart.
I sobbed and groaned of the obstacles that I have faced now and before,
and I pleaded to You from my loss of hope.
You Held me in Comfort as wept. My tears ran into a river that flowed towards Your Holy Cross.

I became aware that you had known mortal pain and knew the deepest of our suffering, much more than anything I could be feeling in that moment.
I knew that your immortal Heart heard every voice and each heart that called out to You. I was unable to fathom how great You Love is but I could feel it Near to me.

I started to remember the Promises that You spoke in the Bible
and I affirmed them before you.
Was my Faith strong enough? Help me of my weakness…
I was moved to speak to You of the verses most that my heart
cherished most from the Psalms.
Joy started to cover me.
These words joined us more… They were part of You, of Your Life.
You came closer; so Near that I felt I could touch Your shining Face.
Father, Lord Jesus- I felt the love of your unceasing embrace.

I began to feel You, Lord encouraging me and Praying with me.
No longer weeping, I was drawn into prayer and devotion.

Many moments flew by as I soaked in Your Love and Presence.
My heart was Comforted as nothing in this world could provide.
Lord, you asked me to be bold and move out in new directions; to carry your Love
to places where fear used to live.
I could not question your prompting.
Lord, you asked me to move despite my own hindrances and weakness; to step out with the courage of Your Spirit.
I could not question your wisdom.
Lord you asked me to remember that You were with me.
You said that by Your power I am strengthened.

Lord, Your Presence is Here, direct and Near.
I am living, yet made new for You live in and with me,
and I am made; created to be with and for You.

For, You Lord, are the sanctuary that Love keeps;
the Guardian of all that I seek,
The One that sees me weep and the Beloved of my hearts fullest reap.
Father, Christ and Lord Here and Near
Thank you, Abba for healing every tear.

© 2017 Linda Willows
Art by J Kirk Richards

2 Corinthians 12:9, Psalm 34….”A State of Grace”…from LWillows

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The State of Grace

Grace…”The unmerited favor of God, A gift unearned and undeserved.”

The words, “a state of grace” have been in my mind and heart in the past week with a new calling. Last Sunday the Sermon at Alexandria Presbyterian Church was from a scripture reading of Psalm 34 and was titled “Taste and See That the Lord is Good”.

The psalm speaks of a prayer of David,  who after losing thousands of his troops in a battle with Saul was forced to flee and finds himself in the land of Gath, a territory that was dangerous to him from former times; the King would have his head….1 Samuel 21:10-15.

I heard the words of the David’s prayer with an open heart. I felt blessed with the timing of the Sermon; my spirit entered a state of grace as we bowed our heads in prayer at the closing, seeking that The Lord search our own hearts and receive us.

The Pastor had asked, don’t we all feel like David at times? Does life not bring us to face the trials that compel us to call out for God’s Help as David did. In line 18, the Psalm says.. “The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”.

Some of The Pastor Chris’s words that remained like bells ringing out the truth for me were…..

“Faith is not strength. Faith is weakness holding on to strength”.  

Then as I was filled with renewal and healing he continued and said, “Suffering will either make you sweeter or more bitter!”.

I smiled with a big inner cheer. Yes! This is so true. Later in the sermon he said,

“You can be wounded and not destroyed. Every-time that something happens that is (a trial) your faith grows stronger.” (Chris Sicks, Pastor of Mercy, Alexandria Presbyterian Church, Alexandria, VA. July 30, 2017)

Psalm 34
Taste and See That the Lord Is Good
Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.

1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.

8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.