Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bahamian Blogging #2: The Pastoral Prayer

We island-hopped yesterday, traveling from Nassau to Freeport. Today, we church-hopped. To clarify right off the bat, we were "hopping" with musicians who were guests at two different churches during the same service, so we traveled between them. I thought it might not be much like worship to swap around in the midst of the service, but the blessings were somehow magnified exponentially. 

At the First Baptist Church of Freeport, meeting in a lovely older (but beautifully cared for) structure, we arrived just in time for the pastoral prayer. Never have I wanted a voice recorder more! Never have I taken notes during a prayer before! 

There were three things the pastor prayed that resounded in my heart. I hope they mean as much to you.

1) "Almighty God, we ask you to come and see about us today." 

It's a beautiful term, isn't it? "Come and see about us" invites our Lord for a personal, intimate visit with us and offers no barriers to His inspection. What a wonderful cleansing His seeing about us can bring!  Come and see about us, indeed, Lord, and respond to what you see in us!

2) "Thank you for protecting us from dangers seen and unseen." 

How often we grumble about the trouble that comes our way, yet how seldom we consider that which does not come our way. One day, perhaps, we will see all that we were spared. For now, however, be assured that what we experience in life, be it sorrow or trouble or danger, is not all that we could encounter. Indeed, Lord, we do thank you for all you have spared us!

3) "Your love penetrates all the obstacles that stand between us and You."

As the words were spoken, I envisioned an industrial laser boring a hole through solid rock to reach a core of uncharted fear and confusion with its powerful light. It is, without a doubt, a penetrating Love-Light  that goes to our core, removes all the obstacles to grace, and floods our souls with light and love. In the presence of such love, all fear and all confusion are vanquished and we are brought face to face with the Lover of our Soul. 

Come, Lord of Love, and penetrate all those obstacles that keep us from You.  Come and set us free with your Love.