DayBreaks for 1/11/16: A Precious Privilege
Galen is out of the country. While he is gone, you will be receiving DayBreaks from the DayBreaks archive from January, 2006.
Well, actually, this isn’t from the archive. This one is “live”.
In case you’re wondering where I’ve been, I am in Israel on vacation with my wife. We were able to come through a generous gift and it has been an amazing experience. I was here about 18 months ago for work, but this is the first time my wife has been here.
Yesterday, the 10th, was a special day. Every day here is special. You can almost feel the holiness of God in this place, seeping up through your feet. Some places are more special than others and seem “holier” – though I know there is no variation in His holiness ever. But, if ever there was holy ground, is has to be here in this place.
On Sunday, we went to the Western Wall (better known as the Wailing Wall). The wall is part of the retaining wall that was built around the Temple Mount by Herod the Great (and later rebuilt by others). There is a rabbinic ban against Jews praying on the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall is the closest place to the site of the temple where Jews can pray. As a result, to the Jewish people, it is the holiest place of all to pray.
And pray we did. I had the privilege of praying for some of my friends there (some of you know who you are!) and inserting their names and request on slips of paper between the great stones of the lower portion of the wall. When I was here 18 months ago, I did the same thing. The feeling of specialness was no less this time.
Do we realize what a great privilege it is to pray for those we love? And what a great obligation it is to pray for our enemies, too?
Our prayers are often offered in haste…even there, at the wall, I wished for hours to pray. To lift up the names and needs, joys and fears, of not just myself, but my friends and family wasn’t a duty, but a privilege. And that, I believe, is how prayer is intended to be.
I came away realizing I don’t pray enough. The orthodox Jews who were at the wall were weeping, sobbing, praying with fervor and passion. Where did we lose that? How did we lose it? Most of our prayers are uttered in between appointments or things we’ve got to do urgently and our prayer life takes a back seat.
As holy as the Western Wall may be to the Jews, when we pray, we come into the very Presence of Jehovah, the Lamb and the Spirit. I hope I never take that for granted again.
Exodus 3:5-6 (NLT) – “Do not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
PRAYER: God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, hallowed by Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Open our ears to hear You, our tongues to speak Your praise, our hearts to the needs and joys of others, and teach us to pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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