Go up to the Mountain

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                                         HOUSE REBUILT

A Flowering Garden
breaks through the briar  

as  it's colour

disturbs the dull dark lair

A sweet sweet smell

as a breeze blows in 

and turns the river into dreams

A House Rebuilt

Over the years I have discovered that prayer is more effective than anything in resolving many things in life. It is a letting go and trusting NOT in your own understanding because our understanding often fails us and misinterprets events, things, our own thoughts and emotions and the people around us. In the late 70's, I went to a "Jesus Festival" with my Step Mom and a verse that really struck me was one in Proverbs 3:5-6. " Trust in Adonai with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him; then he will level your paths."  ( or make your way straight)   Another passage brought up at this event was a strange one and that too hit a cord. It was Genesis 15:9-11. I am not sure why it struck me so deep but I think it was because it illustrated things being left bare and an agreement.  Common English Bible (CEB)

9 He said, “Bring me a three-year-old female calf, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon.” 10 He took all of these animals, split them in half, and laid the halves facing each other, but he didn’t split the birds. 11 When vultures swooped down on the carcasses, Abram waved them off.

The passage is more on the covenant God made with Abraham but because the ancient Covenants were an agreement, or meeting between two or more parties; I learned that they can be made between an individual and God in prayer.  Rabbi Solomon Jarchi says, "It was a custom with those who entered into covenant with each other to take a heifer and cut it in two, and then the contracting parties passed between the pieces."   I know, the animal thing is strange and who can get their head around that part?! However,  it was the meaning  I pulled from the passage I wrote a poem on the passage soon after called "Consecrated"

PAINTING: Heavens Choir          

A covenant has one of these four things:

  1. That the contracting parties were unknown to each other, and were brought by the covenant into a state of acquaintance.
  • That they had been previously in a state of hostility or enmity, and were brought by the covenant into a state of pacification and friendship.
  • Or that, being known to each other, they now agree to unite their counsels, strength, property, etc., for the accomplishment of a particular purpose, mutually subservient to the interests of both. Or,
  • It implies an agreement to assist and defend a third party in cases of oppression and distress.

  • For whatever purpose a covenant was made, it was sealed by a sacrifice offered to God; and the passing between the divided parts and if they broke their agreement, there was an ancient type of punishment. http://www.studylight.org/commentary/genesis/15-10.html "This is farther confirmed by Herodotus, who says that Sabacus, king of Ethiopia, had a vision, in which he was ordered μεσους διατεμειν, to cut in two, all the Egyptian priests; lib. ii. We find also from the same author, lib. vii., that Xerxes ordered one of the sons of Pythius μεσον διατεμειν, to be cut in two, and one half to be placed on each side of the way, that his army might pass through between them. That this kind of punishment was used among the Persians we have proof from Daniel 2:5; Daniel 3:29. Story of Susanna, verses 55, 59. See farther, 2 Samuel 12:31, and 1 Chronicles 20:3. These authorities may be sufficient to show that the passing between the parts of the divided victims signified the punishment to which those exposed themselves who broke their covenant engagements. And that covenant sacrifices were thus divided, even from the remotest antiquity, we learn from Homer, Il. A., v. 460"
    Yeh, sounds crazy. Perhaps this is where Solomon got the idea to cut the child in two to solve the mystery of who the real Mother was in the famous case  brought before him: the case of the two Mothers.

    "They cut the quarters, and cover them with the fat; dividing them into two, they place the raw flesh upon them."

    "St. Cyril, in his work against Julian, shows that passing between the divided parts of a victim was used also among the Chaldeans and other people. As the sacrifice was required to make an atonement to God, so the death of the animal was necessary to signify to the contracting parties the punishment to which they exposed themselves, should they prove unfaithful."

    But what has this to do with prayer and leaning NOT on our own understanding?

    God assures Abram that he will receive  the land of Canaan for an inheritance. God never promises more than he is able to perform, as men often do so in that sense, we must leave the promises up to God. Abram obeyed God and did the ceremony used in confirming covenants, Jeremiah 34:18,19. Then he waited for  God. He watched as in the passage he shows he must watch  and drive the birds away. The waiting was trusting, the prayer was driving distractions away. Distractions in metaphorical sense would be doubt, dark thoughts, fear and so on. As Abram had to drive away the birds, we must drive doubt, dark thoughts, fear and so on away, and seek  and pray to God without distraction. 

    The other passage on prayer which is probably the most significant is in John 17 where Jesus Prays for All Believers for ALL TIME!

    20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me

    His prayer will certainly be answered and if this is so, and he prayed we would be of one mind, be one with the Father and have the same relationship with the Father as he (Jesus) did before the foundation of the world, then prayer is something to look at.  It was his example. Jesus used prayer to communicate so we should too. 

    Prayer and "loyalty" moves mountains.   John 17 

    1. The Lord's Prayer Luke 11:2-4 as a template
    2. Moses' Prayer for Israel in the Wilderness Exodus 32:9-14 Moses pleads with God to preserve his own name and character and not destroy Israel.
    3. Abraham's Prayer for Sodom Genesis 18:16-33 An example of intercessory prayer
    4. David's Prayer for Pardon and a Confession  Psalm 51
    5. David's Prayer at the End of Life 1 Chronicles 29:9-20 A short psalm of praise and David's prayer for his son Solomon to build the temple.
    6. David's Psalm of Surrender (Psalm 139). David speaks to being known since his mother's womb, and then prays a prayer of surrender
    7. Hezekiah's Petitions for Deliverance and Healing 2 Kings 19:14-19,2 Kings 20:1-7 Here's a godly king about to see his nation conquered and destroyed by the mighty Assyrian army. Then he who has just heard from a prophet that he should prepare to die soon. How does he pray?
    8. Daniel's Confession on Behalf of His People Daniel 9:1-19. When Daniel realizes the 70 years of exile are ended, he offers a prayer of confession in which he (though personally a righteous man) identifies with the sins of his people and asks for God's mercy.
    9. Nehemiah's Prayer for Success Nehemiah 1-2:9 Nehemiah hears of the suffering exiles so after fasting and prayer, Nehemiah prays for success 
    10. Hannah's Prayer;  1 Samuel 2 
    11. Mary's Prayer   Luke 1:46-55
    12. Jesus longest and very thorough prayer  John 17 
    13. Jesus' Prayer of Submission at Gethsemane Luke 22:39-46 Jesus asks for the cup (crucifixion) to be bypassed, but submits to his will
    14. Paul's Prayers for the Ephesian Believers Ephesians 1:15-23,Ephesians 3:14-21 Paul's prays for the Ephesian Christians