Alive at Five

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I pulled into Christ Church while the sun was still asleep. With my Bible and coffee in hand, I quickly found a seat at our 5a.m. prayer service. As God’s word was opened, I quickly began to see my need. I have a circumstance that I have been wrestling with for some time, and that morning it was right before me. My need in this situation is great before the Lord.

My heart was stirred by the command in Psalm 18, “Call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” I needed to get real with God! I needed to lift up my voice, audibly out to God. I needed to go ahead and pour out to God my ugly, honest, authentic need to Jesus in prayer – out loud! I didn’t need to think about my situation before God. I need to have a heart to heart gut-wrenching conversation.

On my way home in the car I encountered the Lord as I thought about the observations on Biblical prayer that Kathy had shared from the Psalm. With tears spilling down my face, I opened my mouth and attempted to pray out loud. I managed to whisper a prayer to the Lord. A lump formed in my throat as I began to tell the Lord my deep need for Him. The words began to tumble more freely out of my mouth. I spilled out the details and the pain of my situation, exposing a deep place in my heart before my heavenly Father.

As I drove, the sun began to rise into what looked like a painted blue sky that was interspersed with feathered orange and rosy clouds. God was using the rising sun as a picture of what was happening inside of me.

By stuffing and ignoring my need for such a long time, it was like I was waking up every day while it is still dark outside. I was stumbling around, tripping over my feelings because I couldn’t see where I was going. I was trying to walk in the dark. But as God’s word was opened to me Tuesday morning, I began to see the light; I saw the reality of my situation. Although I am carrying a tremendous burden and have great need, I don’t have to stay “needy!” When I really take all my screaming pain, raw emotions, confusing questions and deepest longings to my God, He comes!

Psalm 18 dramatically describes how the conquering King listens to my every cry and comes to “rescue me from my powerful enemy!” He “confronts me in the day of my distress…He lights my lamp.” Prompted by His word, my heart spilled over into a flow of prayer. As I cried out and meditated on God’s word, Jesus began to wash away my blindness and carry my pain. My Creator was using the power of the literal sunrise to show me a picture of His internal miracle in my heart!

As I prayed that morning, I found Jesus to be my strength. My heart began to align with the truth of God’s word, “This God—his way is perfect.” My heart is safe with Him. I could say over my situation, “The word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him” (Psalm 18:30).

I can (and I do) cry out to my God, “For it is you who light my lamp; The Lord my God lightens my darkness” (Psalm 18:28).

As God brought light I felt a new song rising in my heart. Instead of tears, I felt joy. Instead of despair, I had a song of praise to sing to God. His salvation is great and His steadfast love is amazing.

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If you are in Knoxville I would love for you to join me at Alive at Five! God speaks so significantly every time I go. If you’d like to come here is the Fully Alive at Five info:

When: Every other Tuesday morning. See full calendar here.

Time: 5:00a.m.- 7:00a.m.

Where: Christ Church of Knoxville (Click here for a map)

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