“Lord, bless me indeed.
Do something so big in my life, that it is obviously from you.
Lord, increase my influence and opportunities for you.
Please give me the awareness of Your continual presence and direction.
Protect me and keep me from Satan’s traps.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
– The Jabez Prayer based on 1 Chronicles 4:10 –
Part of the Jabez prayer experience is fasting one meal each week. It’s forsaking earthly food, an earthy need, for spiritual food and an even greater spiritual need.
It was during this first meal of fasting that a word for 2016 imprinted itself on my heart. It’s a common practice to pick one word or phrase to define the New Year. A word or phrase to set as a goal in the coming days. I’ve never picked a word for the year. I majored in English, so asking me to choose one word is like asking me to choose one book, it’s nearly impossible. However, in the first days of 2016 – I can’t seem to get a phrase out of my head.
It was during this time of fasting when it found me in the silence. My word. My goal. It snuck up on journaled prayers and then hung in the air. It’s a word that has chased me down. A word that has stuck out above all others – at least in this particular season of my life.
Be still and know that I am God – Psalm 46:10
There’s a sign that hangs across the wall in our master bedroom: Be Still and Know. I bought it as a reminder to keep our room free from distractions and to set it apart in our minds as our private retreat, our oasis away from the world. But the impact of the word hadn’t hit me until this New Year – until this Prayer of Jabez.
2015 was a very busy year for us. The past 6 months we barely held on as our insanely busy calendar full of necessary things threatened to suffocate the life from us. We learned to say no – we had to say no – even to some really good things, because we just couldn’t add anything else to our schedule. During that last 6 month period I only had a few limited hours with Hawk each week. As much as I wanted to make those few precious hours special, most of the time we were either too exhausted or stressed to actually enjoy each other’s company.
When you wake up in the morning and have a check-list of things to do running through your head before you even pull the covers off, you know somethings gotta give. 2015 was the year of busy and while our schedules still seem pretty busy (in a sense they will always have certain challenges, at least while Hawk is in the Army), 2016 is the year for being still. Being still even in the crazy. Finding rest even amidst the madness.
Be Still & Know
Last year I did a study on Hosea and one of the key themes that stuck out to me was one of the Hebrew words for to know. To Know is the Hebrew word Yada which is defined as an intimate knowledge. Not just knowing about someone or having knowledge on a subject, it is a deeply personal, most intimate knowledge of someone.
BE STILL TO KNOW
Maybe that’s the key to discovering the truly intimate relationship with Christ. Being Still. If our minds are constantly in a whirlwind, wandering from topic to topic and worry to worry and obsession to obsession and addiction to addiction and self to self to self to self — when does the soul have time to connect, to intimately know and experience (yada) Christ? Because that’s the point, isn’t it? The point of stillness, the point of our existence – to truly yada Him.
It was during this set time of fasting where I finally seemed to understand what I had missed so many times before. The importance of Stillness. The importance of approaching the throne room (even if your physical realm is in your car on your lunch break), and devoting that time, that “break” to Him and Him alone. Asking Him to block out the world and the passing cars and distractions, so it could just be you and Him.
Words can’t describe this precious time I had on this secret, special date with my Father. I started journaling and the world disappeared. Once I started writing I couldn’t seem to stop. And I didn’t want to stop.
While I didn’t physically eat lunch that day, I was fed in a way that went so much deeper than physical food. It was nourishment to my soul and spirit. I felt changed. I felt refreshed. I felt rested. I felt encouraged. I felt rejuvenated. I felt passionate.
And I wouldn’t have traded that experience and time with My God for anything, not even the most delicious physical food imaginable. All else pales in comparison when you begin to yada the Father. Nothing can compare to Him. Nothing.
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. – Psalm 107:9 ESV
You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. – Psalm 63:5 NLT
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! – Psalm 119:103 ESV
When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God of Heaven’s Armies. – Jeremiah 15:16 NLT