An insight and morning meditation shared with me by a friend…..
“An individual observed that God “invites” us to pray. It’s not a command. When one thinks of the word invite, it is often in a positive sense whereas the word command often carries a more negative, demanding, or an order sense…..a law. Invite is more loving. Command is duty…. It seems that many have that understanding. We miss a blessing when we don’t accept Gods invitation. There is something that happ…ens when we pray. The bible talks about that all over the place. When we don’t pray or allow others to participate in prayer we miss a blessing or, as one friend has called it, “we blow out a person’s candle”. So just like with service and giving….we miss a blessing when we don’t accept God’s invitation to pray. The one who prays receives a blessing as well as the one for whom he prays. There is something supernatural that occurs within us and for us. God is pleased, too, when he sees us agreeing with his will and doing that will. That led me to consider suffering, as well. We are to count it all joy and that never made sense until this insight. I remember a friend saying that she was thankful for the cancer she had because she experienced God in a way she never had before and she wouldn’t have wanted to miss the blessing. I can have empathy for people in various hard circumstances but until I experience some of those hardships true compassion doesn’t really happen in me easily. Even suffering can be a blessed gift, if we choose to accept the invitation to experience it as such. I hope one day when my day comes, and it will, that I suffer well and agree with God by serving and blessing others even in the midst of it to be an example to others of God’s love and faithfulness, even in suffering. Christ died a horrible, painful, death…..for me….for us. He suffered. He stayed the course. He didn’t give up. He persevered for us because he loved us. He loved me. This is too wonderful for words and I am still pondering it. So when we are invited to pray….to Jesus a very real and present person….. it should be a joy not a task to check off a list. Counting it all joy!”