The Jesus Prayer
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.
Jesus often used parables to illustrate spiritual truths. We find one of these parables in reference to the type of prayer which speaks to the heart of God. In Luke 18 we have two stories of persons invoking God in His mercy, to take pity on them: the tax collector and a blind man.
First, there is the guilty tax collector. His simple prayer is this, “God, be merciful to me a sinner,” Luke 18:13 (KJV) It speaks of a man who has humbled himself to beg of God’s mercy.
The content in this book is for the person who finds themselves in the middle of any kind of crisis, and it is for the person contemplating or wrestling with the meaning of faith in the context of life events. Faith in The Night covers many of those sticky areas that quite often trip us up, those times when God doesn’t rush in and make everything better when we wish He would or those times when He seems to withhold His blessings from us. This book is part philosophy and part spiritual mixed together as a promise of hope for those in need of it (which is everyone).
Andrew Budek-Schmeisser unfolds for us his personal perspectives on God, human suffering, the why, the devil’s gotcha, God’s promises, divine and human miracles, unpretentious prayer, the need for community, and practical suggestions to help people maintain during the hard times. His spiritual take is not the usual, but it makes a lot of sense. I find his views kind, thoughtful, and engaging because he doesn’t cast blame, shame, or voice a whine of regret. He accepts what is. The author promotes the need to engage in life despite or in-spite of negative circumstances.
What makes this book particularly apropos is Budek-Schmeisser’s own journey of hardship as he chooses life and giving of self while fighting against illness and an encroaching end of life scenario, but for God. Faith in the Night will make you think, and it hits all the right notes. It gets to the point without belaboring the effort.
The pilgrims were brave and had stout hearts. They were not perfect people but neither are we. They had that human desire to break free of the religious confines.
Like many of us, the pilgrims wanted to serve God with pure motives and unfettered hearts, not scripted by the formal rules of Church and State. It was a difficult undertaking.
Any group, whether religious or otherwise, will have its rules and parameters. The pilgrims were not exempt. Communal living and shared religious belief bound them tight.
A HOPE AND A PROMISE
He will be with you, he will not leave you or forsake you. ~Deut. 31:8 ESV
Rejection has the power to spew injurious messages inside the wounded person. When a marriage is ripped apart, negative emotions can ravage the mind’s sensitivities. It can leave a person gasping, struggling to make sense of what happened. Divorce smashes the dream that once shone so brightly and leaves destruction in its wake.
There are many ways to absorb these internal hurts. Some bury their feelings. Others unleash volleys of red-hot attacks. Some become overwhelmed by loss and grief. Others walk away in denial, never looking back.