“While still living in the palace, Abba Arsenius prayed to God in these words, ‘Lord, lead me in the way of salvation.’ And a voice came saying to him, ‘Arsenius, flee from men and you will be saved. ‘Having withdrawn to the solitary life he made the same prayer again and he heard a voice saying to him, ‘Arsenius, flee, be silent, pray always, for these are the source of sinlessness.’ “
—sayings of the Desert Fathers
Threefold is the call to perfection. First we must flee. We flee from the slavery of the demands of the world. We are no longer obedient vassals to what “everyone else” is doing and saying. Second, we must practice silence. The call to silence is a call to be attentive to the voice of God. God speaks loudest when we are silent . The third call is to pray always. In the practice of constant prayer ,we open ourselves to the will of God, and we draw closer to Him. These three concepts are a path to perfection.
I saw a sign recently that read, “God is a Changer.” How true! The best picture we have of God is Jesus. Jesus – “God with us!” From His first miracle at the wedding in Cana, Jesus was a changer. That day, at His mother’s request, He changed some jugs of water into the best of wines. That of no value became that of great value. Beginning at Cana, Jesus went about making positive changes.
He changed the black world of blindness into the colorful world of sight for a man blind from birth. He changed rotten flesh into spotless, smooth skin for ten outcasts with leprosy. He changed twisted, atrophied legs into strong legs, leaping and running through the streets of Jerusalem for a little girl. He changed a tortured, deranged mind into a pure, clear-thinking mind for a possessed man. He changed unbearable grief into boundless joy for the parents of a dead child brought back to life.
Jesus took a little boy’s school lunch and changed it into a feast for five thousand people. He changed the turbulent waves of the Sea of Galilee and made the water as smooth as glass. He took a hard-headed, rough talking fisherman named Peter and changed him into His greatest disciple. He took the most tormented woman in Jerusalem and changed Mary Magdalene into a woman of great faith.
Jesus changed history. We date our calendar by His birth. He changed our approach to God, our worship, how we pray, and how we relate to others.
Jesus, the great changer, will change you, too. Ask Him! He will change your attitude, your motivation, your priorities, your desires, and your goals. He will change your life from one of no hope to one of everlasting joy!
PRAYER: Father – Make me willing to make changes so that my journey will be one of joy as I grow closer to you.
Filed under Jesus, miracles
On Thursdays of each week I will be sharing prayers from various traditions. This is the first installment. I hope it speaks to you.
A Celtic Prayer
O God, listen to my prayer
Let my earnest petition come to you,
for I know that you are hearing me
As surely as though I saw you with mine eyes.
I am placing a lock upon my heart,
I am placing a lock upon my thoughts,
I am placing a lock upon my lips
And double-knitting them.
Aught that is amiss for my soul
In the pulsing of my death,
May you, O God, sweep it from me
And may you shield me in the blood of your love.
Let no thought come to my heart,
Let no sound come to my ear,
Let no temptation come to my eye,
Let no fragrance come to my nose,
Let no fancy come to my mind,
Let no ruffle come to my spirit,
That is hurtful to my poor body this night,
Nor ill for my soul at the hour of my death;
But may you yourself, O God of life,
Be at my breast, be at my back,
You to me as a star, you to me as a guide,
From my life’s beginning to my life’s closing.
- Conversations with my Creator -1 (jacobsgardenwall.wordpress.com)