(Psalm 84 sounds to me like a pastor in prayer. I hope these thoughts from the Psalm give your prayer life a boost for the next few weeks.) “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.” O God of the angel armies, God of the saints here and the saints by your side, no building made with hands can contain you; how much less is this frail and inadequate life of mine worthy of your abiding presence! And yet now you have chosen to dwell among us, to make us your home; your people have become your temple, your holy house. It’s hard to imagine that I am your temple, but much easier to see that WE are your temple. Come alive among us, O God, for I long for your presence in us with all my soul. This church building is so empty and cold during the week. It’s a holy place when I sit here, alone, with you. It’s the holy of holies when the hosts, your children, gather together and fill this house with your abiding presence. Your dwelling place among us is lovely, O God. In the songs of your people, I hear your lovely voice. In the prayers of your people I feel your lovely heart. In the faces of your people, I see the lovely face of your Son, Jesus. Even when theirs, and his, are wrenched in pain, I see how lovely is the cross, upon which he took all of our sorrows. In the embraces that your people share with one another, bearing burdens as you have called us to do, I see how lovely is your healing touch, bringing life and peace and joy. In the feeble hands outstretched to receive your gifts of grace, and lips that welcome our Savior’s presence into us, we see together our God who is not far off, but present in us and among us, feeding, restoring, healing, binding as one. Dear God, you know how often we have dishonored your presence among us, your living temple, and yet I long for the assembly of the living stones as you continue to shape us and mold us. My heart and my flesh yearn for the glorious day of the New Jerusalem descending upon us; meanwhile, I cherish the glimpses of glory that you give me when we are together in your name. I pray, dear Lord, that all who assemble here, gathered around for a word from you, would see even a small glimpse of the joy of Christ our Savior in my face, a touch of his kindness in my hands, a blessing of his peace in my words and prayers, just as I so often see and feel and hear in theirs. “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!” (Next week: verses 3-4) Our ministry is made possible by the generous donations of people just like you. Click here to discover how simple it is to make your gift of any size to Grace Place Wellness. Do you know someone who might be interested in becoming a major benefactor to sponsor a retreat in your area? Our President/CEO Randy Fauser would love to hear from you today!