This week at Joining Hearts: Yearning

     Do you long for God’s presence? How greatly do you yearn for Him? The Bible draws a picture of a deer thirsting after water. In addition to times of great drought and thirst, a deer seeks water when in need of shelter from danger, when fighting an opponent in combat, and when sick with fever and in need of its refreshing coolness. Similarly, it is in times of spiritual isolation, battle, and affliction that we truly thirst for God’s presence in prayer.

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” 4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast. 5Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. 6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, and from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill Mizar. 7Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me. 8 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me-- A prayer to the God of my life. 9 I will say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As with a breaking of my bones, my enemies reproach me, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.                                                                                            
Psalm 42

Power in Prayer, click here
Radiance in Prayer, click here
Awestruck in Prayer, click here 
Yearning in Prayer, click here 
Expectancy in Prayer, coming Nov. 10
Resolution in Prayer, coming Nov. 17
Spirit-filled in Prayer, coming Nov. 24

     I am praying for God's people to get a God-sized vision of what He wants to do in our lives, in our church, in our "Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and uttermost parts of the earth." I am praying for and asking you to pray that we seek God to do what only He can do. 

Would you join your hearts together with mine in prayer for a vision for His people. 

     I believe that vision can only be seen when we pray, and not until we have prayed. It will linger long after we first begin to pray. In order to get a vision, I am writing the next few weeks on portraits of prayer; portraits to enlarge our vision of where God wants to take us. 

     In New Testament, Jesus loved to teach with parables and in the Old Testament there are illustrations of encouragements for us to pray. These illustrations are what I call Portraits of Prayer.

     Power in Intercessory Prayer, illustrated by Moses' hands being held up by Aaron and Hur, while Joshua engages in battle below (Exodus 17). This battleground was a resting place, a testing place, without water and filled with conflict. But God wanted to forever memorialize it as where he placed his victorious banner held high.

      Radiance of God's Glory in Prayer, portrayed by Moses' face which glowed with the shekinah glory of being in God's presence.When a Christian has a vibrant prayer life, it shows. There is a glow about a person who has been in prayer and in communion with a Holy, Loving God. How can we Christians create in our lives the essence of what occurred with Moses? Prayer produces within us a radiant glory of God which is reflected in our lives.

     Awestruck Worship of God in prayer is seen in the vision by Isaiah as the prophet sees God's magnificence in the Temple (Isaiah 6). This depiction majestically portrays how believers ought to come to God in prayer with a sense of reverential awe and respect for the exalted King who sits in glory upon the throne. The result of an awe-struck prayer life will result in divine revelations from the Lord. When we come into the prayerful presence of the Lord, it reveals not only His majesty, but our sinful sense of being undone.

     Yearning for God's Presence in Prayer is something which every believer should have. Psalm 42 paints a portrait of a deer panting for the water, and also our soul should long for God. Do you long for God’s presence? How greatly do you yearn for Him? A deer seeks water not only in times of great drought and thirst, but also when it needs shelter from danger, when it is fighting an opponent, and when it is sick with fever and needs refreshing coolness of water. Similarly, during times of spiritual isolation, battle, and affliction, we truly should develop a thirst for God’s presence, fulfilled in prayer.

Earnest Expectation of God to answer our prayers and should expect great things from a great God. This portrait of prayer, found in Joshua 3, shows that the priest carrying the ark of God went to the very banks of the Jordan River, at flood time no less, and put their feet into its waters and only then did God recede the water. 

      Resolution to Pray, no matter what. When you think of a Biblical story of someone resolved to prayer, especially in the Old Testament, no more vivid picture can come to mind than that of Daniel openly prayed when told not pray to anyone other than the king of Persia. Jesus asked His disciples, could you not tarry with me for one hour in prayer. What makes you prayerless?

     Spirit-filled Prayer. In this final portrait of the Old Testament, we see that God wants to bring to life a dead people. You cannot be spiritual without prayer and you cannot have a prayerful life and not be spiritually filled as seen in Ezekiel’s Valley of the Dry Bones.


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