Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It has been two exciting two weeks that packed with meaningful fellowship with our comrades in the Gospel. Overseas Missions Fellowship (OMF) is a 150 years old mission organization started by Hudson, who gave his whole life to serve in China. We are a 15 years old mission organization following the footsteps of missionary like the Taylors. We have a lot to learn from their many years of experience. We praised God for giving us the opportunity to learn from them and hopefully partner with them in the future. I hardly have time to digest all the information that I learnt from these two weeks of gathering. But one thing is certain. We share the same value and commitment – to fulfill the Great Commission of God. One of the regrets that OMF missionary shared was that they had planted churches but not missions in China in the past 100 years. In another word, there are a lot of Chinese churches and Christians who had not participated in the mission movement of God, which is the ultimate purpose of our new life in Christ. Together we committed to change this phenomenon in planting indigenous Biblical mission movement in Asia and around the globe. We invite you to join us in prayer, giving, encouraging, or direct participation in short term and long term missions.
Hope you find time to read the following paragraphs on prayer and meditation by Morton Kelsey:
Sometimes we conceal our relation with God in prayer because we are afraid that others are closer than we are, that someone may be further ahead. But once we have turned and are actually seeking to confront the Other (God), then we will almost certainly find a need for someone to talk with. Real confrontation with love demands sharing of this experience. And in sharing we realize that all us, even the best, are babes in the woods.
So much growth and transformation are possible in one’s relationship with God that those who are trying are like the laborers in the vineyard. There is little difference between the one who has labored all day and the one who has been at work for only an hour. The first and the last are not far apart. And each of us, the best and the least alike, needs other human beings with whom we can share our deepest experiences and safeguard against deceiving ourselves. We each need some person with whom we can talk about any of these things, any level of experience, and we also need a group—which of course can be only two people—with whom we can pray. Although a real confrontation with the God revealed in Jesus Christ often comes alone and apart, in the desert or on the solitary mountain top, it draws us toward other human beings. This is a natural and integral part of the experience of meeting God. When it fails to happen. Something is wrong.
The practice of prayer and meditation is as complex and varied as human life itself. As we confront the reality of the Other, we bring every part of our being, our ideas and thoughts, our plans for the day, for the week, for our entire life to the Other. We disclose our fear, our hopes, our human love, our thirst for more than human love, our anger and vengeance, our depression, sorrow and lostness, the values that are important to us, our adoration and joy and thanksgiving. Leaving out any part of the spectrum of human life makes prayer and meditation incomplete, and that is like meeting a person whom one hopes to know better, only to find that the relationship cannot grow because the other person dares to share only a small part of himself/herself.
What is true of human relationships at their deepest and best is even more true of the relationship with God. It is not very hard to know when we are at our best in relating. At those times we want to know all about the other person. Including the darkness and shadow, so that we can love or care for that individual better. If one loves, one can bear everything. And the incredible mystery of Christianity is that God wants to know us in that way, in total depth and reality, the darkness as well as the light, the anger as well as the love. Indeed our human desire to know and love some other person in depth springs out of the very nature and reality of God Himself. This is perhaps the most essential way in which we are made in the image and likeness of God, this way of needing to love and to be loved…
As long as we feel that there is some part of ourselves that we cannot lay out and share with God, then we cheat Him fully as much as ourselves. For some inscrutable reason, something hidden deep in His nature, He wants to meet the totality of us, good, bad and indifferent, in the greatest depth. And only then can His love touch every part of us and transform or change the whole. For this reason the meditative process is a many-faceted jewel. There are as many different sides of meditation and prayer, of meeting and confronting the Other, as there are sides of human life. If there are parts of us that we do not bring to the Other, it is like letting part of the gem go uncut. So many people like to emphasize certain forms of prayer or meditation such as prayer of thanksgiving or adoration. But these are completed only when one’s prayer life involves all the other aspects of his life, from one’s anguish and despair to volcanic and explosive anger. There are prayer forms appropriate to each of these sides of life. It we want the transformation that can come, we need to bring all parts of ourselves before the Presence of God. Sometimes the very things of which we are most ashamed can become the most brilliant part of our being when they are touched by that Presence and changed.
It is certainly not an easy practice for us to expose our whole being to God, even though we know that God knows everything within us, regardless of whether we tell Him or not. Openly communicate with God through prayer and mediation is a healthy exercise to surface the dark sides of our lives to the Light. The more we harbor our “dark” feelings, the more we give Satan a foothold to launch his evil attack against us. None can handle our dark side more than our Lord Jesus Christ could. Only when we experience His healing more in prayer and meditation, we can truly share with others the healing words that edify in a deeper level. That’s why solitude and fellowship are like two sides of the same coin. Beware of fellowship if we don’t enter communion with God in solitude frequently. Beware of solitude if we could not share our lives in fellowship with others in a deeper level.
Have mercy on us O Lord! Give us the desire to enjoy our communion with you and with your people, because this is what you prescribe for all those who genuinely want to grow in you.
With love in Christ,