Taking a moment to note an error regarding the last post on “Is Vegetarianism Biblical? Part One.” The footnotes did not appear in the piece like they should have. So Marcello and I have decided that we will re post this piece when he returns from vacation once we fix the footnote issue! Part Two will follow Part One’s re post when it is fixed. Thanks for your patience and staying tuned in to our blog!
In the meantime, here is a short piece about prayer. It was sparked by a conversation with a friend of mine about the subject:
This sermon spoke to me as being much about the “essence” of prayer – it is living in such a way that we are “leaning into the Holy Spirit” (Greg Boyd’s words from the sermon) as to hear Him, and then follow Him in what/how He may be directing us in our walk. It would make sense that this is a lot of what it means to make Him the “active” Lord of our lives. Though prayer can be something formal, that we designate time to do – that there is a place for this and it is necessary – it is also this daily, moment by moment walking that we do with our minds focused on the fact that He is walking with us, and, in order to be in concert with how He wants us to interact with the world around us, we need to be in tune with that small voice – “leaning into Him”, making space to hear Him, listening for Him.
Does it sometimes seem that prayer seems like a waste of time? If we stop everything and spend hours in prayer, what is getting done then, how are we being His hands and feet in a world that needs us desperately to be such? Though there may be a place for hours spent in prayer (when we “lean” to listen and hear Him calling us to that), a large part of being effective hands and feet relies on our intentional walking, listening and leaning into Him kind of constant prayer. At least, it would make sense – as we are walking and talking and doing in our life, that we are also listening and watching and moving in accordance to what the small voice seems to be leading and saying and doing and moving us to say/do.
This can most certainly be applied to include animals. Prayer is about all we do – it is an ongoing conversation that we have with the Creator, who lives in us and walks with us in our daily lives wherever we go, whatever we are doing, saying and thinking. In fact, prayer is essential to getting anything done of Kingdom value as God wants to bring about His Kingdom on earth through us.
All this hinges on getting our worldview – view of God and what the Kingdom is all about – aligned with His ultimate purposes for creation:
- On what happened in the beginning when the animal kingdom and mankind were created. His creation was considered “good.” He placed us over the earth and animal kingdom to care for them in the loving image of our mutual Creator. I can imagine this as a completely peaceful time between all of us and the animal kingdom, living in a perfectly clean environment – a paradise – in which all matter of plants and vegetables were ours and the creations for food; in which we interacted with each other and the animals in perfect Shalom, perfect love (see 1 Cor 13). This was our corporate experience, humans and animals, with God as our leader – the Father of all; we depended on Him for what is best for us and the creation.
- We listened to Satan’s lie and fell under Satan’s influence, and in essence, handed over our loving dominion led by trust in the true God of the universe, to a tyrannical dominion led by Satan and his fallen angels. The entire creation has become fragmented, predatory, nothing works in harmony as it was designed to. Our nature as well as that of the creations was changed, and we have become like the tyrannical ruler in who’s lies we’ve listened to.
- Scripture is witness as to how our God has been trying to reach us ever since, to draw us back to Him and to His original design and purposes, and –
- Prayer is essential to bringing this about – to restoring perfect Shalom not only for us, but for ALL creation. It was our job in the beginning to protect the creation from the evil one; to remain in covenant relationship with the Father in order to do so; and we failed at this job.
Christ’s death on the cross was necessary to intervene on our behalf. His death and resurrection not only provides a means in which we can be forgiven for original sin and for any sin since (sin=anything that separates us from the Father), as well as receive ever-lasting life, the life that was suppose to be ours from the beginning (by listening to Satan’s lie we naively chose a path of death and destruction for us and the animal kingdom); but His death and resurrection also defeated Satan’s work, and provides the vehicle by which full redemption can be realized. Though this is not possible in full until such time Jesus returns to complete the work He started, it is our job in the meantime to live as though it were already so, in preparation for His return. With His resurrection, He left us the Holy Spirit in order for us to be able to live as though it were so! We just have to get the story straight, to begin living as we were meant to from the beginning. And, importantly, to pray accordingly.
As Jesus took authority over evil by the power given Him to do so by the Father, His Spirit gives us that same authority. We must learn how to use it. This is what is meant by “nothing happens of Kingdom value unless God’s people pray.” Marcello has said we have a spiritual bank account, waiting for us to tap into. God wants us to understand to the degree to which He wants to bring about His will on earth through us how to partner with Him in doing that, which requires us using the bank account He provided in Christ’s death and resurrection.
Pray as though this is a war zone – because it is. Pray about everything that is seen that does not measure up to the vision of the Peaceable Kingdom; pray to bring it into alignment with what His perfect will would look like in the situation. No matter how things may appear afterward, we can know that life on this planet is more Kingdomized than what it was before we prayed.
Thanks for tuning in to our blog, please visit often, and follow us! Blessings ~Kathy