Morning Prayer Summary for Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Morning Chapel Prayer Playlist
Morning Chapel Prayer Today

Pastor Heather…

I want to read Exodus 3:1. “One day, Moses was tending the flock of his Father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of the bush. Moses stared in amazement, though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. ‘This is amazing,’ Moses said to himself. ‘Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.’ When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush. Moses! Moses! ‘Here I am,’ Moses replied. ‘Do not come any closer,’ the Lord warned. ‘Take off your sandals for you’re standing on holy ground. I’m the God of your Father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.’ When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. The Lord told him, ‘I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering, so I have come down to rescue them.’ When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look…”

Moses was presented with an opportunity…

I think there was something in that moment that Moses did have the opportunity to just walk past that bush. He didn’t have to stop, and it would be a different story. God would’ve called somebody else. We know that He would’ve rescued His people. But God was giving him an opportunity to come closer. And how many burning bushes do we walk past every day? And God’s just waiting for us to stop and to take notice and to come closer so that He can do something through us. But I love that He gives us the choice.


So we thank you, Father, that you give us a choice. We ask, Father, you open our eyes that we wouldn’t walk past our burning bushes… that we would stop… we would take time… we would look… we would take notice that you are doing something different. And we have an opportunity to be a part of that.

So, Father, we just ask that you make our hearts sensitive… our eyes alert and aware… our ears tuned into your voice that we wouldn’t just walk past what you’re doing, though it seems different, or it might seem even insignificant. But that we would stop and say something different is happening here and I can be a part of this. And when we turn and we put our gaze on you and what you’re doing, that’s when you draw us in. You draw us closer. So we thank you, Father, for your presence today.

What’s our burning bush this morning, Father. What is it you want us to see… to stop and take notice of? What are you doing that’s unique? That’s different? Where are you inviting us into today? We just soften our hearts and we say we just wait and listen.

We wait on your presence today. We don’t want to run forward. We don’t want to make our own plans and our own program. We wait and listen for what you want to do. Because your ways are not like our ways. They’re so much higher.

Even now, you’re moving in hearts… working on hearts. You’re showing us where we can turn aside and put our attention on you… and see what you’re doing. And what do you want me to put my hand to, Lord? Regardless of how afraid I am, how unskilled I think I am, just like Moses, you call us, you use what we bring. You use what we have.

And so now we just lay that at your feet our gifts, our talents, our purpose, our callings, our resources, our hearts. We lay them on your altar and say, “Use us how you see fit. We will go.”

Just purpose in your hearts to just lay that before Him. “I will go. I will do what you’ve called me to do, Father. Though I don’t understand it, though I might not feel equipped, though I might not feel talented enough, though it might be out of my comfort zone. You’re bigger than my comfort zone.”

I thank you that even now you’re showing people things. You’re working on hearts.
Thank you for encounters for divine appointments, for rearranging, for paths.
You go before us and you prepare the way for us.
We have nothing to fear. Nothing to fear.

“The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer…

I want to read something. The theme of the day seems to be His presence, which is always a good theme. “The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer is one of my favorites. I’ve just been meditating in it. There’s a part here in the chapter called “Apprehending God.” And I’m just going to read a couple of my favorite paragraphs here.

“A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us altogether within the reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God himself is here waiting our response to His presence. This eternal world will come alive to us in the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.

“What do I mean by reality? I mean that which has existence apart from any idea, any mind may have of it. And which would exist if there was no mind anywhere to entertain a thought of it. That which is real has being in itself. It does not depend upon the observer for its validity.”

“What now does the divine imminence mean in the direct Christian experience? It means simply that God is here. Wherever we are, God is here. There is no place, there can be no place where He is not. Ten million intelligences standing at as many points in space separated by incomprehensible distances. Can each one say with equal truth, God is here? No point is nearer to God than any other point. It is exactly as near to God from any place as it is from any other place. No one is in mere distance or nearer to God than any other person is. These are truths believed by every instructed Christian. It remains for us to think on them and pray over them until they begin to glow within us.

“In the beginning, God, the uncaused cause of matter, mind and law. There we must begin. Adam sinned and in his panic, frantically tried to do the impossible. He tried to hide from the presence of God. David also must have had wild thoughts of trying to escape from the presence for he wrote ‘Whither shall I go from thy spirit’ or ‘Whither shall I flee from thy presence?’ Then he proceeded through one of his most beautiful Psalms. Then to celebrate the glory of the divine imminence. If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me and thy right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:8–10.

And he knew that God’s being and God’s seeing are the same. And the seeing presence had been with him even before he was born. Watching the mystery of unfolding life. Solomon exclaimed, ‘But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and the heavens of the heavens cannot contain thee. How much less this house which I have built.’

“The presence and the manifestation of the presence are not the same. There can be one without the other. God is here when we are holy unaware of it. He is manifest only when and as we are aware of His presence. On our part, there must be surrender to the Spirit of God. For His work is to show us the Father and the Son. If we cooperate with Him in loving obedience, God will manifest Himself to us. And that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian life and a life of radiant with the light of His face. Always everywhere, God is present and He always seeks to discover Himself to each one. He would reveal not only that He is, but what He is as well.

“Our pursuit of God is successful just because He is forever seeking to manifest Himself to us. The revelation of God to any man is not God coming from a distance upon a time to pay a brief and momentous visit to the man’s soul. Thus, to think of it is to misunderstand at all. The approach of God to the soul or of the soul to God is not to be thought of in spiritual terms at all. There is no idea of physical distance involved in the concept. It is not a matter of miles, but experience.

“So when we sing, ‘draw me nearer to thee, Lord,’ we are not thinking of the nearness of place, but the nearness of relationship. It is for increasing degrees of awareness that we pray for a more perfect consciousness of the divine presence. We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts. Why do some persons find God in a way that others do not? Why does God manifest His presence to some and let multitudes of others struggle along the half-light of imperfect Christian experience? Of course, the will of God is the same for all. He has no favorites within His household. All He has ever done for any of His children, He will do for all of His children. The difference lies not with God, but with us. Pick at random a score of great saints who lived before us and testimonies that are widely known. Let them be Bible characters or well-known Christians of post biblical times. You’ll be struck instantly by the fact that the saints were not alike. Sometimes the unlikenesses were so great that it is positively glaring. How different, for example, was Moses from Isaiah? How different was Elijah from David? How unlike each other were John and Paul, et cetera. Yet as they walked each in his day upon a high road of spiritual living, far above the common way, their differences must have been incidental in the eyes of God of no significance. And some vital quality they must have been alike.

“What was it? I venture to suggest that the one vital quality which they all had in common was a spiritual receptivity. Something in them was open to heaven. Something which urged them godward. Without attempting anything like a profound analysis, I shall simply say that they had spiritual awareness, that they went on to cultivate it, until it became the biggest thing in their lives. They differ from the average person in that when they felt the inward longing, they did something about it. They acquired the lifelong habit of spiritual response. They were not disobedient to the heavenly vision. As David put it neatly, “When thou said seek my face, my heart said unto thee, thy face, Lord, I will seek. Psalm 27:8.”

“What God in His sovereignty may yet do on a world scale, I do not claim to know. But what He will do for the plain man or woman who seeks His face, I believe I do know and can tell others. Let any man turn toward God in earnest. Let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness. Let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility. And the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days.

“Any man who by repentance in a sincere return to God will break himself out of the mold in which he has been held and will go to the Bible itself for his spiritual standards will be delighted with what he finds there. Let us say it again. The universal presence is a fact. God is here. The whole universe is alive with His life. And He is no strange or foreign God, but the familiar Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose love has for these thousands of years enfolded the sinful race of men. And he always is trying to get our attention to reveal Himself to us, to communicate with us. We have within the ability to know Him if we will but respond to His overtures. And this we call pursuing God. We will know Him in increasingly degree as our receptivity becomes more perfect by faith and love and practice.”

And then he closes with the prayer…

“Oh God and Father, I repent of my sinful preoccupation with visible things. The world has been too much with me. Thou has been here and I knew not. I have been blind to thy presence. Open my eyes that I might behold thee in and around me for Christ’s sake. Amen.”

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