Transformation Garden - June 26, 2016

June 26

Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry to You. When my heart is overwhelmed and fainting; lead me to the rock that is higher than I, yes, a rock that is too high for me. For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me, a strong tower against the adversary.”

Psalm of David
Psalm 61:1-3
Amplified Bible

The Shadow of the Rock

“The Shadow of the Rock! Stay, pilgrim, stay!
Night treads upon the heels of day;
There is no other resting place this way.
The Rock is near,
Rest in the Shadow of the Rock!

The Shadow of the Rock! The desert wide
Lies round thee like a trackless tide,
In waves of sand forlornly multiplied.
The sun is gone,
Thou art alone;
Rest in the Shadow of the Rock!

The Shadow of the Rock! All come alone;
All, ever since the sun hath shone,
Who travelled by this road have come alone.
Be of good cheer,
A home is here;
Rest in the Shadow of the Rock.”

Frederick W. Faber

A Shelter in the Time of Storm

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,
A shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever may betide,
A shelter in the time of storm.

A shade by day, defense by night,
A shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes affright,
A shelter in the time of storm.

The raging floods may round us beat,
A shelter in the time of storm;
We find in God a safe retreat,
A shelter in the time of storm.

O Rock divine, O Refuge dear,
A shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our helper, ever near,
A shelter in the time of storm.

Mighty Rock in a weary land,
Cooling shade on the burning sand,
Faithful guide for the pilgrim band
A shelter in the time of storm.”

Vernon J. Charlesworth

Today’s Study Text:

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.”

Daniel 6:10
KJV

“Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising His God.”

Daniel 6:10
The Message Bible

“But as for me, I will enter Your house through the abundance of Your steadfast love and mercy; I will worship toward and at Your holy temple in reverent fear and awe of You. Lead me, O Lord in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way level, straight and right before my face.”

Psalm 5:7,8
Amplified Bible

EXPLORATION:

“Earthly Power Versus Heavenly Purpose” Part 22

“Just As He Had Done Before”

“Every day you have another opportunity to affect your future with the words you speak to God.”

Stormie Omartian

How can I incorporate daily prayers into my daily routine?

What lessons can I learn from Daniel’s prayer life?

“Those that think three meals a day little enough for the body ought much more to think three solemn prayers a day little enough for the soul, and to count it a pleasure, not a task.”

Matthew Henry

INSPIRATION:

“When the appointed times of prayer were past, he (she) found no difference, because he (she) still continued with God, praising and blessing Him with all his (her) might, so that he (she) passed his (her) life in continual joy.”

Brother Lawrence
The Practice of the Presence of God
17th century

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer” (Psalm 61: 1, Amplified Bible

For those of you who remember each word of the daily devotionals, I will just alert you to the fact that the above words from Psalm 61: 1 were already part of today’s devotional.

I came upon this text again when I was doing research on my favorite hymn about prayer, the old favorite “Sweet Hour of Prayer” with words attributed to William Walford. In his illuminating book, Then Sings My Soul, Volume 2, author Robert J. Morgan shares some of the history behind this wonderful song:

“’Sweet Hour of Prayer’ first appeared in the New York Observer on September 13, 1845 accompanied by this explanatory note by a Reverend Thomas Salmon, a British minister, recently immigrated to America:

“At Coleshill, Warwickshire, England I became acquainted with W. W. Walford, the blind preacher, a man of obscure birth and connections and no education, but of strong mind and most retentive memory. In the pulpit he never failed to select a lesson well adapted to his subject, giving chapter and verse with unerring precision and scarcely ever misplacing a word in his repetition of the Psalms, every part of the New Testament, the prophecies, and some of the histories, so as to have the reputation of ‘knowing the whole Bible by heart’…On one occasion, paying him a visit, he repeated two or three pieces he had composed, and having no friend at home to commit them to paper, he had laid them up in the storehouse within. ‘How will this do?’ asked he, as he repeated the following lines? I rapidly copied the lines with my pencil as he uttered them, and sent them for insertion in the Observer?”

While it has been difficult through time to identify the exact person mentioned in the above report, I’m grateful that however this hymn came into being, it exists to encourage our hearts today.

But there’s another special lesson which we can draw from the words of this beloved hymn. In Mark 14: 37, 38 we find our dear Savior in the throws of agony coming to the three disciples who were His dearest on earth, Peter, James and John. He asked them this heart-wrenching question: “And he cometh and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, ‘Simon, sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” As author Morgan comments on the question Jesus asked in Gethsemane: ‘What? Could you not watch with Me one hour?’ If an hour spent with the Lord is so sweet, why do we race through our day prayerless, then squeeze all our requests into a two-minute segment at bedtime? If prayer is so powerful, why do we neglect it so consistently? An oft omitted verse to the hymn, ‘Sweet Hour of Prayer,’ is:

“Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
of those whose anxious spirits burn
with strong desires for Thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer.”

It has always struck me, when reading the disciple John’s account of the night in Gethsemane that he never mentions that the disciple Jesus loved, according to the words he penned, fell asleep on duty. When his Savior needed him the most, he couldn’t keep awake during the hour when Jesus longed for the loving voice of a friend to pray for Him. I wonder if it was just too difficult for John to think back on that long night without being filled with great grief that he had not prayed for an hour.

But before I criticize John, I must also look in the mirror of my own life and recognize that along my pilgrim journey, there have been weary and heavy-laden hearts who I have been too busy to pray for. I haven’t always helped someone carry their load – even a person that Jesus sent to me and asked me to pray for. For all of us in the Garden, I pray that the testimony of our lives will be the same as the faithful prophet Daniel, “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house…he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, just as he had done before.”

My Daily Prayer

“I take off my orthopedic shoes – my personal ambitions,
Unclip my watch – my timetable
I remove my reading glasses – my views,
Close up my razor point felt pen – my work,
Put down my keys – my security,
To be alone with You, the only true God.

After being with You,
I put on my orthopedic shoes – to walk in Your ways,
I clip on my watch – to live in  Your time,
Put on my reading glasses – to study Your word,
Open up my razor point felt pen – to write Your thoughts,
Pick up my keys – to open up Your doors.”

Anonymous
(Adapted)

AFFIRMATIONS:

The Hour of Prayer

“Lord, what a change within us one short hour
Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make!
What heavy burdens from our bosoms take,
What parched grounds refresh as with a shower

We kneel – and all around us seems to lower;
We rise – and all, the distant and the near,
Stands forth in sunny outline brave and clear;
We kneel how weak! – we rise: how full of power!

Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong,
Or others – that we are not always strong?
That we are ever overborne with care;
That we should ever weak or heartless be,
Anxious or troubled, while with us in prayer,
And joy, and strength, and courage, are with Thee?”

R. Trench

“Sweet Hour of Prayer”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg282my5QyU

This accapella choir gives me a taste of what it would sound like if our Garden family raised our voices in gratitude for our Father’s gift of prayer.

“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace, the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners, that we may receive mercy for our failure and find grace to help in time for every need, well-timed help, coming just when we need it!”

Hebrews 4:15,16
Amplified Bible

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

P. S. Thank you so much for the gifts you send to Transformation Garden which continue to assist our ministry here in the United States and in 192 countries around the world.  100% of your donation goes directly to providing for our daily devotionals and gift bookmarks. Transformation Garden is a non-profit organization so your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for any gift you send.

Many of you have asked how to send a gift to Transformation Garden. You can help support our work by giving a gift through Paypal or you can send your gift to: Transformation Garden, 2675 West SR89A, PMB 1121, Sedona, Arizona 86336. Thank you so much.

Also, if you should happen to miss a devotional for some reason, you can go to www.transformationgarden.com and you will find archived devotionals.  We also place the daily devotionals on Facebook so you can find them on that site also.

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For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

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