We do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. — Romans 8:26 ESV
Weeping willows bend without breaking. As their branches arch over and touch the grass or water, their light leaves cascade to the ground like streaming tears. There is a softness to their stature, a submissiveness to their countenance. They are lovely and wonderful in their weeping.
We can be beautifully and willingly submissive to the heart of Jesus.
Bowing at His feet, we can allow ourselves to be soft and tender toward His desires for the world. This posture may bring tears to our eyes as our hearts break for the pain we witness. But when we pray, Jesus helps us by connecting us to Heaven so our intercession ushers His light, love, and hope into these darker places.
In our prayers for the world, we must persist in staying near the Water of Life, where we are replenished and encouraged, always holding an eternal mindset. Willows are planted mainly near streams and lakes because their roots always grow determinedly toward water. When we bend gracefully like a willow tree in prayer, we won’t break under the harshness we see in the world because the reality of Heaven gives us strength.
God, soften my heart to bend toward the world in prayer, even if it brings me to weeping. Your eternal love and perspective will strengthen and uplift me. Amen.
When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. — Matthew 6:6 ESV
A gazebo near the lake provides an idyllic getaway spot hidden from the public eye. Its hexagonal shape with open walls holding up a pointed roof looks like part of a castle’s tower. Inside the gazebo, you feel safe encased in its sanctuary. It’s a somewhat private place for a couple to share time together under the domed peak.
Majority rules that public displays of affection can be uncomfortable for onlookers. But in a secluded place, a sweet kiss or loving words are appropriate and some of the most tender things we can share. Yet the closest relationship we will ever experience in life is with God. He is constantly by our sides and knows every thought, intention of the heart, and detail down to the number of hairs on our heads. He also longs to spend time with just us.
Jesus tells us to get away behind closed doors when we pray to God.
Our prayers, when we open our hearts and minds to God, are dear moments to the Father that are just between us and Him. To “perform” prayer out in the open for show steals away the sweetness. Choose a place or two where you can spend time alone with God and enjoy His company and conversation in prayer. Designate your own gazebo getaway spot with the One who knows and loves you best.
Father, point out perfect places in my life where we can draw away from the public eye and spend time together. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from Devotions from the Lake by Betsy Painter, copyright Thomas Nelson.
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When the world and our circumstances blow harshly, we don’t have to break under the because the hope of Heaven and eternity with our Savior is our strength. Jesus wants time with us. He just wants us on a daily basis to spend time with Him. What could be better? Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you!