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Friday, August 6, 2010

Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory

Yesterday a Christian brother of mine was imprisoned for his faith. He and his wife and their three children live in one of the most remote regions of our world. I invite you to pray with me for them. Pray they will be granted a supernatural supply of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strength to endure and to remain strong in faith.

I’m sure there is no justifiable reason for this 10-day imprisonment. Many Christians, as well as followers of other religions, are being routinely harassed and having their rights violated in his country.

We who take our freedom for granted must pray for our brothers and sisters who endure persecution as they seek to follow Jesus faithfully day by day.

My brother is a leader who shepherds others. He works as a welder. Just a few short months ago, my wife and I heard this couple’s story over lunch at a marriage and family conference.

Later that evening we watched them dance joyfully to the traditional music of their region. The next day we watched them hold hands as they sang to one another and prayed for one another with a mixture of tears and smiles as the conference drew to a close.

My friends are two of God’s most devoted servants, and they need our prayers. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that today I wanted to complete the excerpts from Abba by Evelyn Underhill who concludes with a meditation on “The Power and the Glory.” Here, we read:

“He calleth the stars by their names. All things, all mysteries, are brought to Him as their test and meaning. Thine is the Kingdom, hidden from our sight yet already present in perfection . . . Thy secret pattern imposed on our chaos, Thy Spirit brooding on the deep, turning all things to Thy purpose, and even through conflicts, sin and anguish conditioning and transforming every aspect of human life.

“Behind every closed door which seems to shut experience from us He is standing; and within every experience which reaches us, however disconcerting, His unchanging presence is concealed.

“Not in the wind which sweeps over the face of existence to change it, not in the earthquake which makes sudden havoc of our ordered life, not in the overwhelming splendour and fury of the elemental fire: in none of these, but in the ‘voice of gentle stillness,’ speaking from within the agony and bewilderment of life, we recognize the presence of the holy and the completing answer to the soul’s completed prayer. We accept Thy Majesty, we rejoice in Thy Power and Thy Glory; but in Thine unchanging quiet is our trust. We look beyond the spiritual to Spirit, beyond the soul’s country to the personal Origin and Father of its life.

“This is our Lord’s will,” says Julian of Norwich, “that our prayer and our trust be both alike large.”

(Abba, Evelyn Underhill, Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, PA, 1982, pages 56 to 60).

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