Prayers by the Lake

moon over the lakeThe moon over Lake Ohrid from my balcony

Would that I could make musicians out of stone, and dancers out of the sand of the lake, and singers out of the leaves of all the trees in the mountains, so that they might help me glorify the Lord and so that the voice of the earth might be heard amidst the choirs of angels!

The sons of men gorge themselves at the table of the absent Master, and do not sing for anyone except themselves and their mouthfuls, which must eventually return to the earth.

Exceedingly sad is the blindness of the sons of men, who do not see the power and glory of the Lord.  A bird lives in the forest, and does not see the forest.  A fish swims in the water, and does not see the water.  A mole lives in the earth, and does not see the earth.  In truth, the similarity of man to birds, fish, and moles is exceedingly sad.

People, like animals, do not pay attention to what exists in excessive abundance, but only open their eyes before what is rare or exceptional.

There is too much of You, O Lord, my breath, therefore people do not see You.  You are too obvious, O Lord, my sighing, therefore the attention of people is diverted from You and directed toward polar bears, toward rarities in the distance.

You serve Your servants too much, my sweet faithfulness, therefore You are subjected to scorn.  You rise to kindle the sun over the lake too early, therefore sleepyheads cannot bear You.  You are too zealous in lighting the vigil lamps in the firmament at night, my unsurpassed zeal, and the lazy heart of people talks more about an indolent servant than about zeal.

O my love, would that I could motivate all the inhabitants of the earth, water, and air to hum a hymn to You!  Would that I could remove leprosy from the face of the earth and turn this wanton world back into the sort of virgin that You created!

Truly, my God, You are just as great with or without the world.

You are equally great whether the world glorifies You or whether the world blasphemes You.  But when the world blasphemes You, You seem even greater in the eyes of Your saints.

Taken from ‘Prayers by the Lake’ by Nikolai Velimirovic

This morning, with the conference ended yesterday afternoon, I woke up and opened the curtain to see the moon, big and almost full over Lake Ohrid.  During the conference, there has been an optional session of morning prayers, featuring some of the Prayers by the Lake, like the above.  The lake that inspired Nikolai Velimirovic (and mentioned in this prayer) is this very lake.

When I saw the moon, I said, “You put the moon there!” and I realized both how great and powerful God is, and at the same time how personally and intimately He cares for me.  He knows the number of hairs on my head—something I neither know or could know even if I tried to count them.

After arriving here, travel-weary and badly in need of sleep, God has given me lots of opportunity to both connect with people and to rest.  And He has given me an extra day here after the conference to enjoy some rest in this beautiful setting before I scurry back to Skopje for European Trumpet Call, and then another prayer trip with Operation Capitals of Europe.

The verse God gave me for today is Psalm 9:1:

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of Your wonderful deeds.

Yes, the best way that I can thank God for all this is to write about it so that others can know what a great and sweet, kind and powerful, intimately and personally loving God we have.  If you don’t know Him in these ways, all you have to do is to ask.  He will show his love and power to you, too.

The greatest gift of all is the gift of His Son, Jesus, who died in our place.  If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior, just ask Him to be that for you, believing that He will do it.  Even if you only have a little faith, God can use it and grow it.  God is good!

One thought on “Prayers by the Lake

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