Monday, June 23, 2014

Percussive Prayer

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite celebrations because of the percussive nature associated with the Fireworks. Some people like the sparkles, miniature pops, crackling sounds, and whirls connected with each lit fuse, but I like the "BOOMS" which fly off to the heavens and yet feel the sound waves back on planet earth.

I've been enlightened by some neighbors of mine who are licensed and registered with the ATF in firework manufacturing. They have several types of loads with various colors and reports, (that's firework lingo I'm learning) as well as acquiring many different sized mortars by which they can discharge their works. Every so often, they will dispatch one to the skies as a test run for the upcoming holiday celebrations. I get to be their visual judge for a moment. Some reports don't go as planned.

This father and son duo work pretty diligently in order to provide the safest and most entertaining environment for their works of art. Still, one might discharge a bit early, to their surprise as well as my delight. I say again ... I enjoy the massive "BOOMS" which crater the sound waves. Some of their reports fizzle out because of too much powder which actually blows out the colors before they ignite. Still, the sight is quite glorious.

These neighbors actually gather attention from other folk in the community as well as passer-bys in route to their homes or work. It's amazing to hear or see their expressions when they did not expect to hear a test-fire for fireworks that evening. It's always done in good taste and well within the boundaries of suitable time so as not to disturb those who might be getting up early in the mornings. It's a pleasure to be considered as a judge for effects when they call on me.

I hope I've captured your attention by now, because God wants our attention too. He loves it when we seek Him early in the morning, throughout the day, and even late at night when our hearts are heavy. He wants our attention and desires for us to send up our report for Him to hear. He desires to amaze us with wonderful blessings when we seek Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. He desires our attention to fulfill His purpose in our life. Sometimes, He has to light a fuse to get it.

This is a special time to remember our Country as it celebrates Independence Day, and we must remember that independence is not a self-absorbed mindset, but a lifestyle dependent on the One who gives us true freedom. Jesus Christ came down from heaven, showed us the way to heaven, made a way to heaven, and ascended back to heaven in order that we too can be in heaven with Him. There were no "fireworks" when He ascended, but there sure were a lot of "fiery" trials to endure on the way back home.

You and I have the opportunity to pray magnanimously for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country in order to see heaven respond with percussive display toward those in humble positions. Many great men and women have prayed for heaven's favor in light of living and giving of themselves while serving this side of freedom. Perhaps one of my favorite prayers, comes from General Douglas MacArthur, as he prayed for his own son.

(Reprinted for your perusal ... I have seen this in various places and bulletins for encouraging God's Hand on our legacy)

During the early days of the Pacific War while in the Philippines, General MacArthur wrote this to his son, of which the family repeated many times during early morning devotions:

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee -- and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here, let him learn to stand up in the storm; here, let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high, a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men, one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the meekness of true strength.
Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."   -- Douglas MacArthur

A profound prayer with eternal consequences to the one who is willing to surrender themselves to the victory contained within. Perhaps you have strayed like a short fuse firework, or maybe your fizzle has unsparkled in the sky. Whatever the defect, there is a report from heaven which will brighten your night ... 1 Thessalonians 5, tells us to "Continually rejoice, pray without ceasing, give thanks for all things..." because the night sky will not always be dark. The "BOOM" from heaven is about to invade our desperate existence with percussive measure. Pray, then pray some more, then pray until...