Day 57, 26-Feb-2015, let us continue to meditate and pray the Lord's Prayer today.
Psalm 105: 3-5
3 Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. 4 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. 5 Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth,…
"14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."Galatians 3
Seeking the Presence of God.
10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 11You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
To know the secret of seeking God's presence, let us for a moment study the life story of St Patrick, we might find answer to our search. One of Patrick’s greatest achievements was the salvation of Western civilisation. After the “barbarians” overran the Roman Empire nearly all the great literary works were destroyed. Hundreds of years of learning literally went up in flames. But there was a place the Latin books were copied and preserved – in the monasteries established by Patrick throughout Ireland. When Europe emerged from its Dark Ages it was to the monasteries of Ireland that they turned to recover their learning.
St Patrick knew the presence of God, it didn't come easy to him, our God has a dwelling place in every city and village, even before St Patrick came to Ireland, God's presence was real in Ireland. Patrick's heart and mind was open to recognize God's presence, may we allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into the presence of God. Now we remember Patrick as a saint, but he did not become who God intended him to be overnight. It took years for God’s plan to slowly enfold in his life. God used Patrick’s captivity for a good purpose; He made Himself known to Patrick, perhaps through those long moments of minding sheep and cattle somewhere on the Irish hills. Patrick’s calling was shaped like a pearl that is being formed out of dust. Dust coming into a shell is like any bad experience we might have in life. God’s grace and the presence of Christ transformed what could have been an extremely awful experience of captivity by forming Patrick into one the greatest missionaries the world has known. God can use any of our life difficulties too to draw us closer to Himself and to His purposes for us.
More on St Patrick's life story
At the turn of the 5th century the Roman Empire was on the verge of collapse. With its power crumbling, the coast of Britain was subject to attacks by violent Irish slave traders. In 401 a 16 year old boy named Patrick was taken in one of these raids. Stripped from the comforts of his home life and a future which would have included a classical education and career, Patrick was made the slave of an Irish chieftain and assigned the role of shepherd.
The life of a shepherd-slave was miserable – isolated for months on end in mountains that were bitterly cold, in a land where he did not know the local languages, and experiencing times of severe hunger. Such severe circumstances drove the young man to God. His grandfather had been a Christian priest, and Patrick turned to his family’s faith. He spent his bitter days in constant prayer. As he did, a deep love of God and a profound sense of God’s Spirit at work within him grew in the young man. Six years after his kidnapping Patrick had a dream-vision. In his sleep he heard a voice say “Your hungers are rewarded: you are going home.” He sat up, startled, and the voice continued: “Look, your ship is ready.” Patrick got up and started walking. Two hundred miles later he came to the coast and saw a ship. No ship was about to give passage to a fugitive slave and the captain told the young man to move on. But Patrick knew this was his ship. He spent some time in prayer and before he had finished one of the sailors came after him with the message that he could sail with them. It takes him two years but finally the young man arrives home to Britain. His overjoyed parents beg him not to ever leave them again. But one night Victorious, a man who he knew in Ireland, appears to him in a vision. Victorious holds a letter with the heading “The Voice of the Irish”. The young man then hears a voice of a multitude crying “We beg you to come and walk among us once more.” Try as he might Patrick cannot put the Irish out of his mind. The visions keep coming until finally he gives in. He enrols to be trained for the ministry and emerges some time later an ordained priest and bishop. And so a young bishop by the name of Patrick heads off to become the first known missionary to Ireland. His mission is astonishingly successful. The Irish rapidly embrace the Christian faith. By the time of his death Christianity has been established across Ireland, the Irish slave trade has ended, and murder and inter-tribal warfare have markedly decreased.
One of Patrick’s greatest achievements was the salvation of Western civilisation. After the “barbarians” overran the Roman Empire nearly all the great literary works were destroyed. Hundreds of years of learning literally went up in flames. But there was a place the Latin books were copied and preserved – in the monasteries established by Patrick throughout Ireland. When Europe emerged from its Dark Ages it was to the monasteries of Ireland that they turned to recover their learning.