The Continuing Pilgrimage for Prayer

Yesterday marked 6 weeks of walking the Oregon coast for prayer.

I arrived back in Newport, the place where this whole journey started on April 26. I had planned on staying in Lincoln City through the weekend, but on Saturday afternoon I heard God say to go to Newport and that there would be someone here I needed to meet.

I started Saturday with the mindset of having a peaceful day, but as soon as I started heading towards Newport, following what I believed the voice of the Lord was saying, I also heard Him say “I’m sending you into battle with the weapon of peace.”

On the way my heart began to sink. It was as though I saw people with a greater and deeper clarity which seems to happen in such a beautifully surreal and concerning way. I saw people digging in trash cans for what crumbs they might survive off of. I attempted to talk with people with mental illness, spouting curse words every 3 seconds uncontrollably. I met and talked with people in prostitution, dealing hard drugs, and it was as though this “battle” that is always there became illuminated all around me. And my weapon was peace.

I eventually made it to Newport and found who it was I needed to meet here. I met a couple in their late 30s who were at the campgrounds celebrating their 11th year anniversary, with their dog as well. They had incredibly kind and generous hearts, always using and offering what they had to help others. However, they’ve fallen on some difficult circumstances. The wife has many health issues from a compressed spine to deafness and other issues, but she remains very positive. The husband has been clean from a meth addiction since 2001, but still enjoys liquor which causes tension between he and his wife (a recovering alcoholic).

We got to talking about God and Jesus and the Bible and faith, and it was great to hear their hearts. The wife is a member if the LDS, the husband is unaffiliated but believes in God and Christ.

The husband invited me to go to church with him in the morning and so I walked with then and attended the service.

I am praying for healing for the wife, deeper connection in their marriage, and a greater revelation of who God is and who they are as his children set free. I have one more night that I will be at the campgrounds tonight, and look forward to seeing what the Holy Spirit does.

Thank you all for your support and empowering thus pilgrimage with your encouraging words and prayer,

Dylan

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Praying from the Heart

“It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” – Gandhi

Prayer is something that can often become a performance without us even realizing it. Sometimes we think “I should pray more” or “I haven’t prayer enough lately” which reduces prayer to something we can achieve from our own effort – as though prayer is a good work that we do.

I believe, rather, that prayer is a place of our heart being filled by the presence of God. Prayer is not a good work, but it puts in a place of surrendur to Christ enabling the Holy Spirit to do good works through us.

A heart of prayer is one that is completely authentic and genuine, filled by God. There is no performance or catering to what we believe we ought to do, but out of the heart that is in the presence of God our words also are authentic and genuine.

Prayer conducted because we feel like we are supposed to, rather than from a heart that is with God, will be based on a belief that we are supposed to perform a certain action in order to be a better person.

But a true heart of prayer is holy and blameless. How can one who is holy and blameless become a better person?

Prayer reveals who we truly are in the eyes of God, and enables us to see others with that same grace-enabling-power of redemption to the freedom of Truth.

What Enables Me To Love Others Well?

I have spent the last two afternoons/evenings getting to know a man named JT. JT is a man in his fifties, with beautiful long white hair, who has been bicycling up and down the Oregon Coast for the past year and a half! He worked in the coffee business for years and stops into coffee shops along the coast to see if they need anything fixed on their espresso machines. He just got approved for an apartment further inland, and is about to transition into living indoors once again. We’ve had some really amazing discussions thus far. He is heavily interested in the occult or as he says “the hidden knowledge,” conspiracy theories and so on. The main question I always come back to, and my main response when listening to his beliefs about the “elite” and the controlling forces in the world is “those are interesting ideas, but how does knowing this enable me to love others well?” I think we all have a deep interest in finding truth, uncovering what seems to be such a deep mystery of life, how to live and how to create a world that is better for us all. I think that truth is a liberating force, enabling us to love one another unconditionally. It really doesn’t matter who is in control, whether or not there are evil forces operating and all that, if I am in the Truth of the Holy Spirit, everywhere I go is the kingdom of heaven on the move. I believe when we remain conscious of heaven, we are enabled to dispel all darkness. I am not saying to be naive or in denial about evil, rather, it starts with the question: “how does this enable me to love others well?”

What Do We Live On?

“Man does not live in bread alone, but by every word of God.” – Jesus

I picked up this New Testament Bible from a free book exchange.

I opened it and the first verse I saw was the one quoted above. Which got contemplating…

How do we live?

What do we focus on most throughout our day?

Are we focused on listening to whispers of God, always there to invite us into a place of peace, joy and love?

I pray we remember that God is always with us and is always speaking into our lives to bring us closer to Him.

The Lie of Being Ashamed

In the past couple of days I’ve met so many wonderful people. On several occasions, it has come up that someone has either recently been released from jail or prison or is about to serve a sentenced that was deferred.

In each conversation, when the mention of “prison” is said, there is a tone of feeling ashamed in the voice of the one who is sharing their story.

Now, it isn’t that the thought of doing something wrong should elicit some form of sadness, but being ashamed is born of something in the past. It no longer exists at this moment. In the present, we have no need for feeling ashes about who we are, because who we are now is not someone in the past.

Sometimes we need someone to see us as who we truly are. I care very little about what someone has done in the past. I care about who you are now as a child of God. That is how I see everyone in the present. And sometimes we need someone to see us as we are, not as we were, to have the power and grace to live our lives in communion with God and each other filled with the love of God’s spirit.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”