Tag Archives: journey

Exodus 2:1-4 – A Special Baby

‘About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married.  The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son.  She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months.  But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch.  She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the banks of the Nile River.  The baby’s sister then stood at a distance, watching to see what would happen to him.’ (Exodus 2:1-4 NLT)

In chapter one we have just read how the Israelites are now being oppressed by the Egyptians.  Being forced to make bricks without straw, and then being forced to commit filicide (the deliberate murder of their sons).  Which the midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, avoided doing and because of that were rewarded by God.

This is what is happening when the story of Moses begins.  I love the NLT for these few verses, because it says that Moses was a ‘special baby’, and all baby’s are special even before they are conceived!

We see this is Jeremiah’s call:

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’
(Jeremiah 1:5 NRSV)

King David speaks in a similar way in Psalm 139:

‘For it was you who formed me in the inward parts;
     you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I  am fearfully and wonderfully
          made.
     Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
     My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
     intricately woven in the depths of the earth.’
(Psalm 139:13-15 NRSV)

Moses was a ‘special baby’, but all babies are special to God and special to their parents.  On Twitter I regularly retweet posts for Saying Goodbye, as I think the work they are doing both to enable all affected by the loss of a baby in the womb or in very early life to be supported and to say goodbye to their babies by services in the great cathedrals of this land, and to help remove the taboo that has surrounded infant death for far too long is fantastic.

Like Jeremiah I was called even before I was born, as I was one of twins and my twin was stillborn having only developed to 3 months.  I have never known my twin, but there is a hole in a way, I feel there is someone I should know, that I have never had a chance to know!  I have no easy answers, but I know this, even when I have no answers I can trust God regardless.  Even in the womb babies can recognise their parents voices, so I am certain that they can recognise and respond to their Heavenly Father.

So Moses was a ‘special baby’.  His birth and the few months that followed, when his mother risked him being discovered and killed, was the beginning of a long journey until God got him to a place where he could be used in a mighty way.

Like Moses, all our lives are journeys, and all our journeys have a beginning.  Most probably not as fraught with danger as Moses’ beginning was, but whatever that beginning was, we can say for certain that God was there.  But what about babies who had a very short journey in this life?  Well, God was there too, and we can trust him with them now as his ‘hand is not too short to save’ (Isaiah 59:1 NRSV)!

Heavenly Father, thank you that you hold all our lives in your hands, that you were there at our beginning.  Help us to show compassion to all who have experienced infant loss, and thank you that you hold those little ones in your loving arms.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Prayer is … #1 Adventure

Here goes our adventure into prayer.  So what is more natural than to start by saying that prayer is an adventure.  It is not just any adventure, but one into more of God.

For everyone prayer is a journey.  I shall share some of my prayer journey, my prayer adventure, in this post.  Why because you may be able to connect with my story in this post, and it will help you all to get to know me a bit better.

My prayer adventure started as a child, like most children I was taught to pray with hands together and eyes closed, prayer was a formality there was nothing real about it.  Now here’s a thought, to pray with hands together and eyes closed is not in the Bible at all, so should we pray like that or teach our children to pray like that?  I’ll look at that more in another post sometime!

When I was at university, I started being interested in the things of God, I thought I was a Christian because I had nominally been brought up that way, but in fact I wasn’t.  Prayer was interesting, I prayed formally in chapel and less formally in the Anglican Christian Union, then I started going along to NCCF (New College Christian Fellowship) and here I experienced prayer that really connected with God for the first time, this had me extremely interested!

When one of my friends asked me if I would like to go to a half-night of prayer they were having, I jumped at it!  Here there was prayer, worship and some teaching all combined.  People prayed in different ways for different things, including praying out loud together (all at the same time) in tongues or English.  This spoke to me, I knew that their unknown languages were from God, and that their prayer in general that evening was somehow connecting with God in a big way.

I became a Christian when I was baptised in the Holy Spirit like Cornelius in Acts 10, now prayer became real to me, as it was based in a relationship with God.  I got things wrong at times, but I also saw prayer answered as we prayed together for people to be healed of things, and they were healed.

I soon got involved in a church prayer meetings, prayer meetings with para-church organisations, and spent time praying alone with God.  I read books on prayer which I brought from Canaan bookshop where I was working on Saturdays.

Some of the books I read included,

  • Rees Howells, Intercessor, Norman Grubb;
  • Learning the Joy of Prayer, Larry Lee;
  • Prayer the Key to Revival, Paul Yonggi Cho.

I went to a prayer conference in 1991 (I think) praying for London as a financial centre for it to be shaken which it has been substantially since then.  On the second day we prayer walked, the group I was in for the Bank of England, and we prayed for finance to be released for the Kingdom of God, and God gave a sign to us (a 5p piece) that he would.

After university, I got married and life and prayer continued, sometimes prayer was easy and sometimes it was hard.  But about 2001 I fell in and for quite some time all my prayer were tears and asking the question ‘Why?’, which I never got an answer for, but despite that I held onto one thing.  That God would never abandon mr like the Father had to abandon Jesus on the cross and turn his face away because of my sin.  God healed me over about 1 1/2 years after I was given a prophetic word that he would heal me.

Since then God has grown me a great deal, to where I am now.  I fought with him in prayer like Jacob at the ford of the Jabbok (see Day 4. Practice – Wrestling With God – When Intimacy Gets Personal).

Where am I now?  God is calling me to lead prayer, and to grow churches in prayer, both in its depth and breadth, and helping to restore prayer to the place it should have in this land.  Why?  To see revival and this nation restored to God!  To God alone be the glory! Amen!

What is your prayer journey like?  Do you see it as an adventure?  I would love to hear your thoughts.