An Inheritance of Prayer

To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:4 ESV

Recently Dave from Dave’s Daily Dose wrote on the subject of solemn assembly. For those not aquatinted with solemn assembly, it is a meeting something like a prayer vigil involving an entire church. I remarked that I remembered prayer vigils -vigílias de oraçãoes- at our Brazilian church where we served on staff for about 14 years. When Dave challenged me to write about it, in spite of my fear of diving into the deep end of the subject, I had to accept his double dog dare!

But to explain the unique experience of a vigília will take at least two posts. Today, I will just offer a little glimpse of what the Brazilian church in America is like. Like a fish being unaware of water because he is in, none of us really understands our own cultural inheritance and the Brazilian community is no exception. So f there are any Brazilians out there in my reading audience, I apologize if I am over simplifying, but if I were to start with a single word, it would be saudade – roughly translated homesick. Though saudade may fade after many years here in America, it is never truly absent and it touches every part of life. It effects who you work with, what food you cook, who you tell your secrets to and most of all how you pray. Saudade includes a deep longing for things that are far beyond our control and forces us into a desperate dependence on God.

But when we as Americans think of prayer we think of our devotional time, our prayer closet and time alone with Jesus. But Brazilians almost never do anything alone. If somebody has a baby, not only the entire family, but also half the neighborhood shows up at the maternity room to visit! Communion at church often included all of us crowded around the front to receive it together. Birthday parties for a one year old featured more than half the church showing up of every age and of course lots of food!

This is me with the youth after church

When the church was healthy, that same togetherness happened when we went to prayer. In fact, that unhurried time at the altar with people all around each asking for God’s help, was the single greatest attraction of us when we began attending. That intensity of community prayer was and is a special part of the inheritance that God has given the Brazilian church and the single greatest reason we remained through thick and thin for so long.

Tomorrow, I promise I’ll dive straight into what it is like being a part of my favorite -vigília de oração of the year – New Years Eve, so stay tuned and have a blessed week!

Are You Waiting?

 Will you spend time alone with Jesus
 Is His will what you’re looking for
 Is there a place He can go to meet with you
 To come in and then close the door?
 Is your heart like a freshly turned garden
 That is ready and prepared for seed
 A place where His word can take root
 And His plan is your deepest need?
 Then listen you’ll hear HIs footsteps
 It’s the Master now coming our way
 And He’s asking to sit here with you
 If you’re waiting for Him today-

 Are You Waiting?  by Peter Caligiuri 
Copyright 2021 All rights reserved

Sabbath Gift of Grace

The Sabbath is a Gift of Grace

It’s not a law we must obey
 Or just some answer on a test
 But it began at the creation
 That God made a day for rest
 Just as the sun was going down
 And as His children lay to sleep
 He gently covered them with night
 And then bowed low so they could meet
 And in the morning walk the path
 And tell them how His hand had traced
 The course of daybreak and the stars
 Then gave a Sabbath gift of grace 

The Sabbath is a Gift of Grace by Peter Caligiuri
Copyright 2021 all rights reserved

So God blessed the seventh day and made it Holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation. Genesis 2:3 ESV