Beliefnet
Prayables

I go to the woods, for You are there.
You, fully in attendance
in every leaf and bough,
replenish my soul
with the sigh of the wind.

I come here to be with You,
where You dwell most presently,
to spin out the content of my heart,
and be regaled
with green-black silences
and the living canopy
of nature’s cathedral.

I go to the woods to recharge,
to drink my fill of You.
Please—
Grow a forest in my heart
that I might carry You everywhere.

Lori Strawn, Prayables

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I don’t know why it’s so easy to assume God is a sloppy manager, standing silently with His arms crossed and waiting for confused workers to guess His priorities.  What seems more likely—especially when I think about it—is the idea that God sends a load of signals to direct us in the right direction, not the least of which includes using our skills and passions.

God knows who He’s working with.  We are not designed to read His mind, and certainly we aren’t supposed to ardently pursue work—no matter how noble—that doesn’t interest us.

The fact is, in this diverse world, it really does take all kinds.  Yes, we need the Mother Teresa types, but we need scientists and architects and bankers, too.  This is why I find myself coming to God in prayer seeking not to unbury some mystical will, but asking for help focusing in on the desires and impulses of my heart.  I believe there’s a reason I love to write, and the first step to realizing my “noble purpose” is to trust the passion that God put in my heart.

A few year ago, while working with a touring theatre company, I had a debate with a touring partner of mine regarding the nobility of acting.  He argued that there was nothing noble about his career choice.  I begged to differ.

“Theatre is all about empathy,” I said.  “Theatre gets people to sit down and be quiet long enough to imagine what it would be like to be in someone else’s shoes.  I’ve seen and read so many plays that have helped me understand that people I thought were completely different from me actually go through a lot of the same experiences.”

My coworker couldn’t agree.  “I get that,” he said, “but I don’t act for that reason.  I act because I like it.  And if it’s bringing me pleasure, is it really all that noble?”

I don’t think his perspective is all that uncommon. I find myself caught in similar dilemmas.  As I map my future—whether it’s the next ten years or next five minutes—I still sometimes worry when my plans are filled with things that I enjoy, rather than the martyrdom that I suspect God is looking for.

I’m not clear on what God’s will for my life is.  I don’t know where He wants me to be, and what grand sacrifices He wants me to be making. I do know; God is here for me when I call, and He is here calling me ever-closer to the magnificent plan in store for my now and for my future.

-Abigail Wurdeman

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”
Philippians 4:4

 

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Here’s today’s selection for upbeat God-loving music as today’s Prayable Pick!

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Look at it this way: there’s a great big hodge-podge of religious beliefs, bumping up against one another, each catching the religious residue of its neighbor.

Chrislam, Conservadox, and Cashews are just some of the oxymorons that make up this interesting and often humorous mix of religions.

Chrislam is a sect where followers recognize both the Bible and the Qur’an as holy texts. Apparently this religion values the written word. Chrislam is like the nerdy over-achiever, who reads text books for fun even though the teacher is not giving extra credit.

Conservadox is the new name for Jews whose beliefs and practices place them somewhere between the more liberal conservative Jewish practices and the stricter Orthodox Jewish practices. You know the type; they find the loopholes. The Conservadox Jew will eat “trayf” (non-kosher food) on paper plates or watch a football game on the Sabbath if the T.V happens to be already turned on.

Religious Humanism rejects biblically revealed knowledge, theism-based morality and miracles. Yet, it’s nothing short of miraculous to watch a Humanist pray, without mentioning God!

Messianic Jews blend evangelical Christian theology with elements of Jewish terminology and ritual. They consider themselves Jewish, yet believe that Jesus is the Messiah. When I think Jews for Jesus, I think of the joke; “What’s the first question a Jew asks the Messiah when redemption comes? ‘…So, you been here before?’ ”

Cashews –A person or couple who is half Catholic and half Jewish. This religious merger has a corner on the guilt market. There are endless possibilities for new stereotypes of Cashews. The book; Eat, Pray, Love, takes on a whole new meaning when Jewish cooking and Catholic prayer get together in “Cashew Love.”

Whether it’s a hybrid religion like Chrislam, or one that’s as pure as the heavens above, it’s not an oxymoron to respect the beliefs of another. It seems clear, we honor our Creator by honoring all of His creations. We are the hodge-podge God made.

Will you then compel mankind, against their will, to believe? No soul can believe, except by the Will of God.
Qur’an 10.99-100

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