Morning Prayer Summary for Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Morning Chapel Prayer Playlist
Morning Chapel Prayer Today

Pastor Heather…

Some of you may have been here a year ago today. We were doing our 24-hour prayer. It makes me cry just thinking about that presence. But it was a year ago today. I’m going to read this. I wrote it after it happened because I never wanted to forget this moment.

It was a year ago today…

I was leading. It was around 10 a.m. on Monday, February 27. It was the ninth day of our 24-hour worship. We began on Sunday, February 19 at Pastor Dustin’s leading. And I thanked him last week for being obedient to suggest that we do that. So we were here in the chapel. Pastor Brandon was leading worship. And worship was so pure, it was so heartfelt that morning. He went into moments of spontaneous worship from his heart. And there was a moment where Pastor Dustin, Pastor Sabrina, Heather and Sandra, a person from the church, we were up here worshiping at the altar. And we were near the center of the steps.

It’s a beautiful garden…

And then some time during that worship, it was maybe like around 11 or 11:30, I heard Sandra begin to talk something about a garden. She kept saying, “It’s a garden, it’s a beautiful garden!”

She was kneeling in front of the keyboard over here. And then Pastor Brandon said something about a fragrance from the keyboard during his spontaneous worship. And as I worshiped, I began to smell the most beautiful fragrance I’ve ever smelled in my life. At first, I was like, “Wow, Pastor Sabrina’s perfume smells so good.” But then as I realized, it had filled the whole chapel. It was the most beautiful fragrance I’ve ever smelled in my life. And it was like this heavy perfume of like floral and sweetness all at the same time. It was strong, but it wasn’t overpowering. I kept breathing it in so heavily. I just couldn’t get enough. It was like one of those moments where you’re just breathing so heavy. It was so beautiful.

And all I could think was, if this is even a fraction of how beautiful Jesus is, He must be so beautiful. And it was just a fragrance. But it was just like His presence felt and that fragrance just filled this room. And it was the most beautiful moment I’ve ever been in where you could feel His tangible presence and literally could smell it through this whole chapel.

It melted my heart and brought me to tears…

And I was so thankful to be here when that happened. And it consumed my thoughts for days. And I still love to recall that moment and meditate on it and how beautiful He must be and how we can’t even begin to understand that He is overwhelmingly beautiful more than we can ever imagine or hope. That just even that small, small thing of just a fragrance, how much that did to my heart and just brought me so alive, just that fragrance of His beauty. And that’s just one part of my sense that He was awakening.

Song of Songs 5:13 in the Passion…

Song of Songs. Everybody’s like, “here she goes again.” It’s one of my favorites. And 5:13, in the Passion translation it says, “Looking at His gentle face, I see such fullness of emotion, like a lovely garden where fragrant spices grow. What a man, no one speaks words so anointed as this one, words that both pierce and heal. Words like lilies dripping with myrrh.”

And then in 2:16, in Song of Songs, she says, “My lover is mine and I am his. He browses among the lilies.”

I was praying on my way here this morning, and I was thinking about that. He browses among the lilies. We are His lilies and He just walks amongst us like we’re His garden. We’re His Garden! And we have to tend that garden to be fruitful and to bring forth a fragrance as pleasing to Him.

And how do we do that? With our worship, with our adoration.

Song of Song 6:2, “My lover has gone down to His garden, to His spice beds to browse in the gardens and gather the lilies.” We are those lilies. The Hebrew word for browse can also mean “to take delight in or to be as a special friend.” The same Hebrew word is used in Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd.” So He’s walking among us and saying, “These are my best friends.”

You’re His best friend.

And sometimes we get that revelation. God loves us. He likes you. He wants to be with you. You’re His best friend.

Song of Songs 2:1, “I am truly His rose. The very theme of His song, I’m overshadowed by His love like a lily growing in the valley. And in that moment, we were just so overshadowed by His love. It was such a beautiful thing.

Isaiah 35:1–8, “The wilderness and dry land will be joyously glad. The desert will blossom like a rose and rejoice. Every dry and barren place will burst forth with abundant blossoms, dancing and spinning with delight. Lebanon’s lush splendor covers it. The magnificent beauty of Carmel and Sharon, my people will see the awesome glory of Yahweh, the beautiful grandeur of our God. Strengthen those who are discouraged.”

Who needs to be strengthened?

“Energize those who feel defeated.”

Who needs to be energized?

“Say to the anxious and fearful, be strong and never afraid. Look, here comes your God. He is breaking through to give you victory. He comes to avenge your enemies with divine retribution. He comes to save you. Then blind eyes will open and deaf ears will hear. Then the lame will leap, like playful deer and the tongue tied will sing songs of triumph. Gushing water will spring up in the wilderness and streams will flow through the desert.”

How many people have some deserts in their life right now?

“The burning sand will become a refreshing oasis. The parched ground bubbling springs and the dragons lair, a meadow with grass, reeds, and papyrus. And there will be a highway of holiness called the sacred way.”

Who is hungry for that?

Did we steward that moment of visitation?

What did we do with that time, that 24-hour prayer? What did we do with that? Did we steward that moment of visitation? Because I promise you, we were all changed in that presence. We were all changed in that time. And so what did we do with it? Is it on a shelf? I’m preaching to myself. Do we need to dust it off and dig for it? Is it piled underneath things? What did we do with that time?

Did we recognize and honor that time of visitation or were we kind of happy just to go back to our regular ordinary lives? Will He do it again? Would we do it again?

And don’t worry, AV booth, I’m not talking about 24-hour prayer.

It was a press. It was a press and I’m not suggesting we do 24-hour prayer again. But it was a press for the people that had to facilitate it and make sure the sound was on and the scheduling of the pastors. I mean, anytime we do anything for Him, there is a moment of press in it.

But the reward so far outweighed the press. And so I’m just asking myself this question. And I’ll ask you too: Where’s our expectation? Are we just satisfied to be like, “We had this beautiful moment and hopefully that could happen again, or hopefully something different will happen.” Or are we pressing? Are we pulling? Are we expecting in our hearts that God can move like that every time we’re in His presence?

Romans 8:19–28 in the Passion translation says…

“The entire universe is standing on tiptoe. Yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious sons and daughters.” That’s us! You think about that. Not only are people waiting, creation is waiting. The trees and the animals are waiting because they’re subject to this fallen earth. They’re waiting for us to figure out who we are. The Greek word used here means “intense anticipation or anxiously anticipating what is about to happen with an outstretched neck.”

The Greek word used for unveiling, apocalypses is the same word for the full title of the last book of the Bible. The revelation unveiling of Jesus Christ. The created universe is but the backdrop for the dramatic appearing of God’s sons and daughters unveiled with the glory of Jesus Christ upon them. The verb tense in the Greek text is clear that this unveiling is eminent. Soon to happen and destined to take place. Christ’s glory will come to us, enter us, fill us, envelop us, and then be revealed through us as partakers of the glory. For against its will the universe itself had to endure the empty futility resulting from the consequence of human sin.” Or the purposelessness, or frustration, or chaos.

There’s a lot of frustration and chaos in the world right now.

“But now with eager expectation, all creation longs for freedom from its slavery to decay and to experience with us the wonderful freedom coming to God’s children. To this day, we are aware of the universal agony and groaning of creation, as if it were in the contractions of labor for childbirth. And it’s not just creation. We who have already experienced the first fruits of the spirit, also inwardly grown as we passionately long to experience our full status as God’s sons and daughters, including our physical bodies being transformed.”

And there’s a note that says “The first fruits of the Spirit include His indwelling presence, His gifts, His wisdom, His transforming power. Imagine the full harvest of the Spirit, what it will bring to us. The Aramaic can be translated, “the awakening of the Spirit.”

I think some of us need some awakenings in our spirit.

“For this is the hope of our salvation. But hope means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen. For why would we need to hope for something we already have? So because our hope is set on what is yet to be seen, we patiently keep on waiting for its fulfillment. And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness.”

How many are thankful for that?

“For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray or the best things to ask for, but the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super intercede on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words.”

Imagine that! The Holy Spirit praying to God for us with these sighs that are too deep for words.

“God, the searcher of our heart, fully knows our longings, yet He also understands the desires of the Spirit because the Holy Spirit passionately pleads before God with us for us, His holy ones, in perfect harmony with God’s plan and our destiny. So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together for good, for we are His lovers who have been called to fulfill His design purpose.”

The footnote says…

“We find three groanings in this chapter. Creation groans for the glorious freedom of God’s children. We groan to experience the fullness of our status as God’s children. And the Holy Spirit groans for our complete destiny to be fulfilled.”

So if you feel like “I want that. I don’t know how to get from point A to point B though. How do I get to that place where that hunger is stirred up?” The Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our weakness or helps us in our infirmities.

I am a word nerd, so just bear with me for a second. Help in Greek is “To take hold with at the side, to take a share in, to generally, to help, to give assistance with full initiative because closely identified supplying help that exactly corresponds to the need.”

That’s a lot of words and they’re all good. “To aggressively lay hold of.” The word underlines the high personal self-interest, motivating, giving the help which is personally shared.

So in other words, here’s the Heather translation, the Holy Spirit aggressively lays hold of our burdens. He has closely identified and takes hold of it to give assistance with full initiative supplying help that exactly corresponds to our need because of His high personal interest in our need, which motivates Him to help.

Isn’t that good?

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