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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

There’s a song which has dominated my attention for the past couple of weeks. From the first time I heard it, I began to play it so many times I’ve lost count. I think it’s a beautiful song, of course, but there’s so much more to it than that.

The song is titled “Captivate Us.” It’s on a CD by the group Watermark. It’s a simple, quiet song with two voices and an acoustic guitar. I’m sharing the music with you here but I really want to suggest it not as a song, but as a prayer–a prayerful preparation for a conversation with our Heavenly Father. Not only have I listened to the song many times on the way to and from work but I’ve also used it to prepare my heart to commune with the Lord and to practice His presence as I begin to have conversation with Him.

For the purpose of prayer, you can change all of the us pronouns to me. As you become familiar with the words and are able to close your eyes as you speak them–out loud, preferably, I pray that He will, as the words say, draw you closer to Him.

“Your face is beautiful
And Your eyes are like the stars
Your gentle hands have healing
There inside the scars

Your loving arms they draw me near
And your smile it brings me peace
Draw me closer, oh my Lord
Draw me closer, Lord, to Thee

Captivate us, Lord Jesus
Set our eyes on You
Devastate us with Your presence
Falling down
And Rushing River draw us nearer
Holy Fountain consume us with You
Captivate us, Lord Jesus, with You

Your voice is powerful
And Your words are radiant bright
In Your breath and shadow
I will come close and abide

You whisper love and life divine
And Your fellowship is free
Draw me closer O my Lord
Draw me closer Lord to Thee

Captivate us, Lord Jesus
Set our eyes on You
Devastate us with Your presence
Falling down
And Rushing River draw us nearer
Holy Fountain consume us with You
Captivate us, Lord Jesus, with You

Let everything be lost in the shadows
Of the light of Your face
Let every chain be broken from me
As I’m bound in Your grace
For Your yoke is easy
Your burden is light
You’re full of wisdom, power and might
And every eye will see You

Captivate us, Lord Jesus
Set our eyes on You
Devastate us with Your presence
Falling down
And Rushing River draw us nearer
Holy Fountain consume us with You
Captivate us, Lord Jesus, with You”

I am a lover of words–their meanings, colorations and shades. This song sent me to various dictionaries, as well as the Bible, to see all the meanings of some of the words and phrases used in this song. I wanted to see what God intended to say, what He wanted us to ask for, when He inspired the writers, Christy and Nathan Nockels.

First, look at the word captivate. It can mean: attract; fascinate; charm; enchant; cause to be enamored; beguile; entrance; hold the attention of someone by being extremely interesting, exciting, charming or attractive; subdue; overpower; capture; or enslave.

In praying “Captivate me, Lord”, I’m see myself asking Him to do everything from attract me to enslave me.

What’s that? I want Him to enslave me? But He told us through Paul:

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” (Romans 6:6-7)

Yes, freed from slavery to sin, but then divinely enslaved to Him:

揃ut now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:22-23)

The lyrics make reference to Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

For generating word-pictures in my mind, I love the references to the Lord as a Rushing River and Holy Fountain.

And we can read in Psalms:

“How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give the drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” (Psalm 36:7-9)

…And in Revelation:

“To all who are thirsty I will give the springs of the water of life without charge!” (Rev. 21:6b)

And directly from the mouth of Jesus:

“‘If you are thirsty, come to me! If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow from within.'” (John 7:37b-38)

Another word which had an impact on me, but which surprised me, was devastate. I knew of its usage only in terms of laying waste to, or to ravage. But what a great word and a great request for me to make of God! It also means: arouse; elicit; kindle; evoke; fire; raise; provoke; overwhelm; overpower; sweep over; overcome; overtake; confound; stun.

I say “Lord, arouse me to You, and then proceed to overwhelm, sweep over, and all the rest. Just do it, Lord! And, Lord, while You’re at it, go ahead and lay waste to and ravage everything You see in me that is not of You.”

If you take the words as your own and pray them as you commune with our Heavenly Father, I’m sure He will lead you to other words which have the most meaning for you; which draw the clearest picture; which bring you into His presence the closest and prepare you for conversation with Him.

The sweetest times of concentrating on being in the Lord’s presence are those when we come not to ask for anything–no matter how important and precious those requests are to Him–but those times when we say,

“Father, I don’t come to You now to get anything. I’ve prayed about my needs and desires already and Your Word says they’re met according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now, I just come to be with You. If you have anything You’d like to tell me, I’m ready to listen. I want You to know that whatever I see in Your Word or hear from You, I’ll do.”

Then sit or kneel in His presence and enjoy His company.

I pray the words of this song will be useful to you in your prayer time and that your time with Him will be more precious because of it.

Brother Bill

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