Day Three & Four: Leaning into relationship

Tina-Marie Axenty, Jan 22, 2021, 4:48 AM
Tina-Marie Axenty Foundations Team
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Vineyard Canada National Prayer & Communal Fast

January 20-30, 2021

Day Three & Four: Leaning into relationship – A call to come & "reason together" Isaiah 1:18

Throughout the first two days of our fast we have been intentionally "reorientating" our lives back to our foundation, who is Jesus.  In light of Ps 1 and Colossians 2:7 we have been reflecting on the Hope of our Salvation and allowing the Spirit to reveal in us those places where we need to be re-rooted and grounded in Him. We will continue to carry this prayer in our hearts as we move through the process of this fast.

For day 3 and 4 we will be leaning into a deeper understanding of the relationship that the Triune God invites us to. We will be reflecting on His invitation found in the first part of Isaiah 1:18 as well as Romans 5:1-5.

How God speaks to His people in Isaiah 1:18a is profound on so many levels:

"Come let us reason together"

In His extreme mercy, God invites dialogue.  Challenging the perception and an understanding of prayer that becomes formulaic and empty practice, God beckons His people to engage with Him in "reasonable" conversation.  One translation sees the Hebrew word for "reason" here, depicting an image of "walking and talking" together. (The Voice Translation)

Our relationship with God is interactive, He invites us into dialogue, makes room for our voice and in that interaction we are able to grow in our understanding of who He is and ultimately who we are in Him. He is not a dictator but rather "engages" with us.  We are marked by His forgiveness, covered by His grace and are welcomed near, into deeper dialogue and greater trust.

Throughout Friday and Saturday of this week, we invite you to reflect on Isaiah 1:18 in the morning and on Romans 5:1-5 in the afternoon.

Ruminate

Reorient

Receive

Rest

Here are a couple questions for us to think through as we contemplate together over these couple of days. They are written in the first person, but let's lean into prayer for our movement as well. These can be poignant fodder for communal prayer:

Think about two or three tangible ways that identify how you gauge where your relationship with Jesus is at? What has surprised you about your relationship with Christ in this COVID moment?

Can you identify, and name, ways of thinking that have crept into your understanding of who God is and who you are in Him that you sense the Spirit poking at. Have these resulted in any form of idolatry that you need to turn away from? Ask the Spirit to reveal areas of your understanding of God that need to be adjusted or dismantled.

Here is our common prayer for these couple of days. Again, we turn to the writings of Walter Brueggemann:

The idols have ears but do not hear

So unlike you, for all your hearing

So like us, ears but do not hear

You have endlessly summoned us

Listen

Listen up

Pay attention

Heed

Obey

Turn....

We mostly know not....in our narcissism

In our recalcitrance

In our departure from you

So we pray for ears, open, unwaxed,

Attentive, circumcised

Call us by name....so that we know

Call us to you....so that we live

Call us into the world...so that we care

Call us to risk....so that we trust

Beyond ourselves

You speak/we listen/and comes life

Abundant

Beyond all that we ask or think

Our ears to hear your word of life

Amen

We continue to gather, weigh and collate what we are hearing as the fast progresses and once again encourage you to send in your contributions to [Please enable JavaScript to see this content].

We have also provided a link to some musical worship by Kris MacQueen who pastors the Guelph Vineyard as well as gives oversight to our National Creative Initiative.

"Take Us All" by Kris MacQueen. A weary but hopeful song of prayerful resolve. Because sometimes our aches are prayers.

May God draw us deeper into relationship with Him as we wait and listen.