Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

The Heights of Holiness

Today in seminary we talked about holy patterns. …the patterns of our life that increase our holiness…prayer, scripture study, faith…

She sat on the back row, with black curly hair bouncing of her shoulders and hand raised.

"Why?"  She asked, with questioning eyes and an honest heart, "Why is prayer supposed to be a habit?"

It was a real question.  Genuine.

We've probably all wondered that a time or two.

"It's a good question,"  I answered, "Why should prayer become a holy pattern in our life?"

What would be the benefit?

Why do we pray?

Out of duty?  As an assignment?  Is it  habit that is rote to us, one that must be checked off of our list of things to do?

I have to say my prayers.

I forgot to say my prayers.

Surely you've whispered that phrase a time or two.

"Really,"  I asked the group of high school students that had woken up before the crack of dawn to come sit in a small room and discuss God, "why would God have asked you to pray every single day?"

"Because He loves us."

"Because He wants to talk with us."

And then, a quiet girl, yellow sweatshirt, front row, right side, "Because it is a gift.  Prayer is a gift.  He gave it to us."

The sincerity of her eyes testified of gratitude.

And I realized the heights of holiness are discovered in the depths of gratitude.

If I want holy to become a part of me, of who I am, it will require deepest gratitude.

For just a moment I thought of Moses and the burning bush…when God said, Remove thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground."

Why did Moses take of his shoes?

Out of duty?  Assignment?  So he could check it off of his list of things to do?

Or out of recognition, out of awe,

out of gratitude.

a daily invite

Today, I want these three words to define my walk with God.

Recognition.

Awe.

Gratitude.

 

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Emily Freeman