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July 2023

Abraham's Test

Abraham and isaac

Watch the Message:

The Acronym, TEST

T is for Trust.

E is for Experience.

S is for Sel-Realization.

T is for Theophany.

 

Key Ideas

• This message explores sacrifice in the discovery of God's purpose in life.
• The story of Abraham and Isaac is discussed, emphasizing trust and faith in God.
• The impact of the story lies in its ability to make us reflect and apply its teachings.
• Abraham gained self-realization, reverence, and fear of God.
• Reverence and trust in God are crucial.
• Theophany is when God reveals Himself.
• Sacrifice and self-realization are part of our spiritual journey.
• God sacrificed Himself to show His love.
• Our faith and obedience impact future generations.
• Trusting in God brings blessings and impacts many souls.

My Notes

We could have talked about freedom from sin in our lives from Romans 6.
We could have talked about Hospitality from Matthew 10.
We could have focused on Jeremiah and the role of the prophet or Psalm 13 and the psalmist's cry, "How long, Lord?"
Or we could have spent our time on Psalm 89.

But we have chosen Genesis 22.

Genesis 22:1-14 (NRSVU)
22:1 After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

22:2 He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you."

22:3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him.

22:4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away.

22:5 Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you."

22:6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.

22:7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, "Father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." He said, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"

22:8 Abraham said, "God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.

22:9 When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

22:10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son.

22:11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

22:12 He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."

22:13 And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.

22:14 So Abraham called that place "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."

  • God never intended to let Abraham kill Isaac.
  • Abraham did not know that
  • How could he?
  • He assumed that his God, Hashem, was like all the gods around him

T - Trust

The test of love and loyalty is our faith in God

E - Experience

God meets us where we are to teach us about himself . In the Hebrew scriptures, he does that in conversation and experience. But God is is One who disrupts and redefines our thinking

S - Self-Realization

(knowing and being known are the same experience)

T - Theophany

22:14 So Abraham called that place "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."

Lessons

  • God meets us where we are to teach us about himself.
  • God provides.
  • God does not require human sacrifice.
  • Whatever God demands of us, God provides.


Hosea 6:6 - For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Perhaps that is another reason why Isaac's name means laughter. God takes what is absurd to us to shake us, reorient us, and teach us.

The Epilogue:

“… in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore.” - Genesis 22:17

What a promise God made to His trusted servant!

It was the second time God had spoken similar words to Abram and He swore by Himself. Abram had just proved his faith and faithfulness and God was pleased to confirm that which He had always intended, to bless Abram and to make him a blessing.

In fact, it was God’s intention that, in Abram, all the families of the earth would be blessed.

We cannot imagine the number of sands on the seashore or the stars of heaven. That is the point. We cannot count them. Nor can we count or measure the future impact of our faith and obedience. The seeds that God plants in our lives and that we plant with our lives bear fruit long after we are dead.

That is how God blesses others through us.

Someday, your name will be forgotten, and your face will have faded from everyone’s memory.

Every person who ever knew you or who might have heard of you will Have gone to his or her final destiny. If the Lord’s return tarries, this will be true. Yet, your legacy will live on in others and that which God has accomplished in and through your life will continue to bless others.

You will not be able to predict what that will mean, and it can never be measured in time and space. God is only waiting for you to believe that it is true and to act in faith on that belief.

The immediate result will be that He will bless you. The ultimate result will be that He will bless countless unborn souls through you. Look at the sand on the shore and get a small idea of that this means. It will amaze you.

Unedited Transcript

The Test of Abraham and Isaac.mp4
July 2, 2023 at 10:32 AM
Link to video on Workshops to Go: https://workshopstogo.yoodli.ai/share/1U271aNC

0:12:
What is the concept of sacrifice to you? What have you sacrificed for something that you would consider higher loft? Dear? What do you think that you would sacrifice for God or for God's purpose in your life? And what would that mean to you? What would that look like? This morning, we're going to examine a, a troubling story from the Book of Genesis, from the Hebrew scriptures.

0:46:
It's one that has been the subject of much speculation, spiritualizing, uh, allegorizing and debate, but it's one that I think we can't ignore and we can glean a great deal from. I think that it's a good time to pray. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in my sight, oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer, and to pray as Jesus taught us to pray encompassing the world and all the troubles of the world, and the troubles around us, and the concerns we have for our friends and our neighbors, our brothers and our sisters, our families, our own lives, our Father, which are in heaven, hallowed be thy name, Vik kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for and ever.

2:12:
Amen. Lord, hear our prayers, our scattered prayers, our gathered prayers. In Jesus' name. Amen. This morning as we come to the culmination of my study and your hearing, this word and my delivery of it, let me tell you that following, even just following the common lectionary, we could have talked about freedom from sin in our lives from Romans six, and that would've been a great message and a great assurance to us, and a great challenge to our hearts.

2:50:
We could have talked about hospitality and Jesus saying, you give a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, you will not lose your reward. In Matthew 10, we could have focused on Jeremiah and the role of the prophet. We could have taken Psalm 13 and the Psalm must cry, how long, Lord, how long? Or we could have focused on the praiseworthy words of Psalm 89. But no, we go to Genesis 22.

3:21:
I took the most difficult of the passages and a story out of the life of Abraham, which I will read to you now after these things. God tested Abraham. He said to him, Abraham and Abraham said, here I am. He said, take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mariah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I will show you.

3:58:
So Abraham Rose early in the morning, settled his donkey and took two of the young men with him and his son Isaac. He cut wood for the burnt offering and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. On the third day, Abraham looked up and saw a place far away, and Abraham said to his young men, stay here with the donkey, and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac, and he cut the wood for the burnt offering and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. I just read verse three again, I didn't mean to do that.

4:39:
Abraham said to the young men, stay here with the donkey and the boy and I will go over and we will worship and we'll come back to you. Abraham took the wood of the burn offering and laid it on his son, Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife, and the two of them walked together. Isaac said to his father, Abraham father, and he said to him, here I am, my son. He said, the fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?

5:12:
Abraham said, God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son. So the two of them walked on together when they come to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in the order. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand, took the knife to kill his son, but the angel of the Lord called him from heaven and said, Abraham, Abraham. And he said, here I am.

5:45:
He said, do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him for now I know that you fear God since you've not withheld your son, your only son from me. And Abraham looked up and saw Ram caught him, the thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place, uh, Yehovah Jra the Lord will provide. As to this day, it, it said on the mount of the Lord, it shall be provided. What do I need to say about this? Disturb me, isn't it?

6:36:
Or Isaac must have had P T S D for the rest of his life over this incident. Let me first say, we don't know everything about this story. We know what we've been told. We know what the Holy Spirit has inspired us to know from the words of this text.

7:00:
We also know that this is a part of a larger collection in the Torah where human sacrifice is condemned. We know it's part of the story, it's part of the story of redemption. It's part of the story of God dealing with humanity and God revealing himself to humanity. I also assume that God never intended to let Abraham kill Isaac, but Abraham didn't know that. He did not know that. How could he? All around him religions were being practiced where the people in their concept of God or in their other gods did this.

7:53:
On occasion, they did practice human sacrifice. Perhaps Abraham assumed that his God Hashem was like all the other gods around him, and that his religion was like all the other religions, and that in order to fear God and to love God and to be loyal to God and to have faith in God, he must do what all the other people did. We're not taken into the heart of Abraham. We're not given to see his internal conflict. We are only privy to his behavior. He got up when he was challenged by his son.

8:44:
He said, God will provide the lamb. When he told his servants to stay behind, he said, we will be back. He, he was either lying or he had faith in something else. The writer of Hebrews says, or implies at least that he expected God to raise Isaac from the dead. But that's theological reflection in a very large context, over a larger period of time, many years later, I, I thought to just kind of reflect on this a little bit loose, but I decided I would give you a little acronym for context so that, um, we could share in, uh, four parts some of the lessons that we might take from this passage. Te, and I'm gonna take the word test because that's the word. The author of Genesis uses that God, Abraham.

9:57:
So what is a test? You know, I've been a, a teacher as well as a preacher. I've taught academic theological studies and academic setting and taught in other contexts. And I've come to understand a test as a test not only of the student, but of my delivery of the course, a test of where I need to go and to fill in the blanks. There's tests that come before the final test. If, if the students, if all the students do poorly, then something's been wrong with my teaching.

10:38:
So I, I use a test as kind of a conversation and a check-in, but I also assume that in a test, not only am I testing how well the student has done their work, but the student is testing themselves. The student comes to realization. Bottom line, a test is a learning experience for everyone. And it's kind of a, a conversation.

11:05:
But the test here, the angel says it was a test of the fear of God, the reverence of God. Every other commentary has suggested, I mean the scriptural commentaries, and I did, I looked at everything about Abraham in the Hebrew scriptures, uh, loosely not in depth. And in the New Testament where mainly Abraham is referred to as a part of our lineage, Jesus said he could raise up, um, children of Abraham from stones and, uh, God could, and uh, that, uh, we are in the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That's how we really see Abraham mentioned throughout scriptures. He is a part of that train of covenant, uh, relationship that we are, we are a part of this history, this heritage that comes through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God progressively revealing himself to these pivotal characters that we call the patriarchs, the fathers of our faith.

12:20:
But trust is the key word of this test. I think the test of love and loyalty and reverence for God is how much we trust God. Do we have faith in God? Do we believe that God will provide? Do we believe that God is watching over us? Is it immoral to sacrifice a human child? Well, it certainly is.

12:53:
Well, we know that. But Abraham might have been excused as a child of his time, assuming that the practices around him were normative in the life of faith and in worshiping one's, God, to go on with that practice. We know we have the Torah, we have the prophets, we have Jesus, we have Hosea who says actually he is quoting God when he says, I desire mercy. Not sacrifice an acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings. We know that.

13:51:
But in that test of trust that we go through, we often need God to lead us by the hand and take us into these tests of trust and faith. God didn't tell Abraham the whole story. God didn't tell Abraham, I'm not gonna let you do this. There's a line that I'm not gonna let you cross His God withholding information. Kinda sorta Abraham wasn't ready to hear it. So the e in test is for experience.

14:34:
God meets us where we are to teach us about himself. Where are we? We're swimming in a pond of misconceptions. We're swimming in a murky pond of our own prejudices and our own misconceptions about God and about life and about everything else. And we expect, we expect that somehow or another, our biblical characters are not swimming in the same pond that they are enlightened.

15:08:
You could make the E for enlightenment too, as well as experience. Well, where do they get enlightenment? Well, they get enlightenment through experiencing God. It comes through conversation.

15:26:
It comes through experience. God is the one who disrupts our thinking, and Reid defines our thinking. He shakes us. He rattles us, but mostly he takes us by the hand and leads us through a story. I often say facts tell, but stories sell. If we had just had a one clear statement, I don't think it would've nearly made an impact on us as the story has.

16:07:
Why? Because we've had to take the story and think about it. We've had to take the story and reflect on it. We've had to take the story and wrestle with it. We've had to take the story and get mad at it.

16:20:
We've had to take the story and and try to make some application on it. Even the writer of Hebrews had to wrestle with it. Even, uh, I think Moses and the prophets and everyone in the history of the people had to wrestle with it. What does this mean?

16:44:
God intends it that way. Look at your life stories. Look at your pilgrimage. Did you misunderstand God at times or did you just have a little bit of the picture?

17:02:
Maybe God needed to relocate you to some other part of the story or some other geographical location or some other experiential location in order to teach you the lesson that you needed to know. And rather than beat you over the head with all of your own misconceptions about the nature of God, in reality, he just lets you learn to trust him, to take you to the next moment of enlightenment. That's how we learn, that's how we grow. That's how we get to know God. The s and the test was the self-realization. What was the self-realization that Abraham came out of that with? By the way, there were only two people really who could tell the whole story on earth, Abraham and Isaac, and it's passed on generation to generation.

18:09:
So what we have is what they learn. And the angel says to Abraham, Abraham, you revere God. You live in an awe of God. You fear God is the way. It is the word that's used.

18:29:
But we know it means more than being terrified of God. It means having reverence and awe of God. You, you have this, you trust God. Paul says, Abraham believed God, and God counted it unto him as righteousness, not only you. So I think God knew this stuff.

18:54:
You know, when God is asking the question, he is doing this in the context of a relationship, what God knows about us, God wants us to know. And this knowledge is a reciprocal knowledge. It's also self-realization. That's the yes, yes, self-realization, knowing and being known by God. The psalmist said, Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know, when I rise up, you know when I lie down, such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It's beyond me. And yet the psalmist is coming to know these things.

19:45:
The New Testament says, we shall know even as we are known, our experience with God, our pilgrimage of God is about coming to, uh, know as we are known until that time when it is perfected in that eternal moment, there's another T in test, and I'm gonna teach you a new theological word. Okay? Are you ready? T h e o t h a n e y t h e o.

20:25:
The o God. T h a n y. Theophany. It's where God shows God to a human being.

20:39:
In some way it can be a physical manifestation, it can be some kind of eye-opening experience of God. Now, this time, I don't know how God spoke to Abraham. In the first few verses of this story, it says, God said to Abraham, well, I, I don't know. It doesn't say it was audible. It was, could have been an impression.

21:09:
We, we don't know. And what God said to Abraham may have even been more than is reported, but not less. But here, angels are messengers of God. And so they have this tendency to be a little more audible or verbal or visible, and the angel comes and says, don't harm the child. And restrains Abraham, but still Abraham meets God in that encounter with the angel in that theophany, oftentimes the scriptures say, you know, I saw God when you were seeing the messenger from God, because the messenger from God is a credible representation of what God wants to say to you in that moment. It was a theophany most important thing that happened was that Abraham had his eyes opened and realized part of the character of God is the God who provides. And he provided the ram in the thicket, and he said, on the mountain of the Lord, it shall be provided. Now, all the, the history and the backstory of Mount Mors association with Jerusalem and, and all of that is interesting, but it's not necessarily pertinent to the message today.

22:57:
God meets us where we are to teach us about himself. We have misconceptions, we have prejudices, we have assumptions. But God comes to us in the middle of those assumptions. Some people have a problem with the fact that God reached out to magicians. That's what, that's the, they were magi. You know, that's where we get the word magicians from Magi. They were wise men who were practicing another religion and were practicing, uh, reading the stars. And he came to them through their own, uh, a combination of their own understanding of the Hebrew scriptures to which they would've been exposed because of the exile of the children of Israel in Babylon, because of all the Jews that remained behind that they would've known, but also their other religious texts, and showed them a star.

24:04:
And they became key players in the drama of the birth of Jesus. God meets us where we are to take us to the next level of what he wants to show us about ourselves and about himself. God provides. In fact, whatever God demands of us is what God will provide. God demands nothing of us that God does not provide. Yes, there's a message about sacrifice.

24:38:
Maybe Abraham had a glimpse of understanding that in going to sacrifice Isaac, that he would not have to kill him, and yet he takes up the knife to do it. But Abraham, in a way, did sacrifice Isaac. He consecrated him to be the child of promise, but he acknowledged that Isaac really belonged to God. And in that sense, we sacrifice our own lives and we sacrifice our own self.

25:13:
People have had problems through the years with the idea of the Father sacrificing the Son in the crucifixion. And surely that is part of the imagery. But what is really happening is God is sacrificing himself. That's the Trinitarian message. It's not a division of personality.

25:35:
In that moment, God is sacrificing himself, the Son, as an expression of the Godhead, as the person of the Godhead is making the decision in community with the Father and the Holy Spirit, that I wanna show the world that what God demands, God provides, that I sacrifice myself. I no man takes my life from me. I lay it down willingly to show you the character of God, the character of a God who gives the God who sacrifices. And so God provides the lamb, and it's a hint of the future. It's a precursor of all of that.

26:24:
It's not the father saying, oh, go do it. I, you know, no God is, God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them and is given to us. The word of reconciliation, whatever your personal theology or philosophy of the atonement is, no, it's God giving. If there's a debt to be paid, God's paying it. It's just that's who God is.

26:57:
God does not require human sacrifice. And that becomes codified. That becomes a part of the stated will of God, the stated law. God, in fact, God forbids that God condemns it. Our whole concept of gehenna, the valley of henna, the, the, the place of, of, uh, human sacrifice becomes the symbol of hell because it becomes a dump and the fires are burning.

27:29:
That's how much God detests human sacrifice and that mistreatment. But how are we gonna get to know that? How are we gonna learn that lesson? We have to learn it through the trust test.

27:45:
We have to learn it through experience of God. We have to learn it through self-realization. We have to learn it through theophany. We have to learn it through a story. And here is your story, what God demands of us. God provides God desires, mercy, not sacrifice.

28:08:
And he, he does that through a boy whose name means laughter. And you say, well, this isn't a very funny story. Well, the Greek tragedies, which were called comedies weren't that funny either, but they were comedic. And so the, the comedy continues the irrationality of a God who provides his own sacrifice. There's an epilogue to this story. Begins at verse 15. The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said by myself, I have sworn says the Lord, cuz you have done this.

28:50:
You've not withheld your son, your only son. I will indeed bless you and I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sand that is in all the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gates of their enemies. And by your offsprings shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves because you've obeyed my voice.

29:14:
So Abraham returned to his young men in a rose and together went to Beersheba and Abraham lived in Beba. Verse 17, blessing us shall bless thee and multiplying, I will bless thy seed in all this King James now as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. What, what a promise God made to his trusted servant. It was the second time, by the way, Isaiah says that, uh, Abraham was called a friend of God.

29:50:
That's somebody you're in conversation and experience with relationship with. It's the second time God has spoken these similar words to Abraham and he swore by himself, Abram had just proved his faith and faithfulness and God was pleased to confirm that which he had already intended to bless Abraham and make him a blessing and to do so through Isaac. It was God's intention that in Abraham, all the families of the earth would be blessed. You can't imagine the sands of the sea or the seashore or the stars of heaven or how many humans are on this earth.

30:30:
That's the point. We can't count them. We can't count. We can't measure the future impact of our faith and our obedience and our experience with God. The seeds that God plants in our lives as he builds this story and our experience with him and that we plant in our lives, uh, bear fruit, long after we're dead, the story continues to be told.

30:54:
That's how God blesses others through us. Someday our names will be forgotten. We won't be remembered like Abraham was, and our faces will have faded from everyone's memory. Every person, whoever knew you or might have heard of you, will have gone to their final destiny. If the Lord's return carries, this will be true. Yet your legacy will live on in others and that which God has accomplished in and through your life will continue to bless others.

31:26:
You won't be able to predict what that will mean and will never be measured in time and space. God's only waiting for you to believe that it's true and act in faith. The immediate result will be that God will bless you. The ultimate result will be that God will bless countless unborn souls through you. Look at the sand on the shore and get a small idea of what it that means.

31:56:
It will amaze you. Trust God today. Trust that God only asks of you what God provides to you and through you. Trust that God loves you. Trust that God is there to keep you from acting foolish. Uh, trust that God, as Roman six says, is there to help deliver you from sin. Trust that when you welcome someone in Jesus' name, you've welcomed him.

32:30:
Trust that if you trust that, that will be counted unto you as righteousness. Say yes to God today and yes to God through Jesus and see what begins to happen in your life. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and be gracious unto you and give you peace through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Simon the Magician

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Like Simon the Sorcerer, we can become addicted to power and wealth and see the realm of the genuine Spirit of God and grace as either threat or opportunity to gain more power and wealth of ourselves.. Peter names the addiction as "the gall of bitterness and the bond in the bond of iniquity."

Ponder that.

It is a bond that binds and a poison that toxifies the soul.

Yet, the possibility of repentance and forgiveness is held out, even for such a malignant evil.

Imagine how deeply Simon had to humble his heart to ask someone else to pray for him.

But, he did.

"Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”"

(Acts 8:14-24 ESV)


A Big Old Goofy World

Goofy

Sometimes the world gets so messy that we lose our perspective, humor, and hope.

These are the times when we need the Word, but we also need a touch of the playfulness of God (If you don't think it exists, adopt a kitten!).

It really is a big old goofy world and as fed up as I get with things, and even if it is not my true home, I can find a lot to celebrate in it.

Thanks, God. I sure love the folks down here ... and the silly songs!


 

"... He said 'No more of this..." and he touched his ear and healed him.:

No more of this ...

No more violence.
No more retaliation.
No more waiting for the moment of our calling.
No more delay for redemption with all its cost.
No more games.
No more betrayal.
No more sell-preservation at all costs.
No more deciding who our enemies are and striking at them.

No more of this ...

Luke 22:39-51
He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, "Pray that you may not come into the time of trial." Then he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done." Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial." While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, "Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?" When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, "Lord, should we strike with the sword?" Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, "No more of this!" And he touched his ear and healed him.


Pain Prompts for Prayer

Prayer prompts

I have my alarm set for 3 times a day for some specific prayer. Stop & drop. It takes seconds.

What calls you to pray? I'm thinking sharp pains might. Pain here reminds me to pray for this friend. Pain there reminds me of another.

General pain - Pull out the list.

Dull pain?????

I think this idea of the pain prompt might go somewhere for me. It has implications.

Now - What about a laughter prayer prompt?
 
Well, I did tell God my plans once.
 
He seemed to say, "That's a good one, Tom."
 
Did I hear laughter in Heaven?
 
Then, there is joy.

Even if it does not start there, it could go there.