Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My Confession- And Being Intentional

I have a confession to make.

Sometimes I lie. 

I don't mean to... really, I don't.  But I find myself busy and just forget...

To pray.

Yep, I just said it.

If we are being honest, prayer is sometimes one of the most difficult things in our life... at least in mine. It shouldn't be.  I have no problem talking to Wallace.  Or Caleb.  Or my friends.  Or my students.

Even as an introvert, I can usually find something to converse about. The weather.  Football.  What I'm reading. 

And isn't prayer just simple conversation with God?

Yes... but sometimes there isn't anything simple about it.

This really hit me last night.  I had posted about loving and praying for my enemies.  I don't know that this response will ever be natural for me... but that is the beauty in it.  Jesus gives us the commandment to love others as we love ourselves (meaning that we should love ourselves, which is difficult in its own right).  We are then instructed to love our enemies. Pray for them.  Bless them.

Oh, I bless them alright.  "Bless her  heart."

Which in Southern terms is as good as an eyeroll.

So, there's my first problem with prayer.  I don't want to actually see them blessed, if I'm honest.  Like Jonah, I get mad when I see God being gracious and merciful, even though the plank in my eye is often so big that I can't even see their blessing.

But the beauty of it is He knows we can't do it naturally... it has to be through Him, through the supernatural. Loving your enemies and praying for their blessing has to come from a love for Him.

And then there is the matter of me not wanting to seem too needy.  I know that God is not Santa Claus, but sometimes when I do decide to pray, it seems like I'm just offering my wishes up to Him on a platter, and I know he kind of has to get sick of that, right?  I mean, He is not the Genie in the lamp.  I hear myself asking for blessings for my family and healing for loved ones and comfort for those who are grieving and on and on and on until I fall asleep. 

Yes, I've fallen asleep praying.  Multiple times... it's a good thing we're told in the Bible that He never slumbers, because I'm pretty sure my monotone pleas would definitely put Him in La-La land.

But the biggest reason I lie about praying?

I get too busy. That's right. 

I start my day hitting the snooze button and rush until my head hits the pillow, even though the words from Ann Voskamp are imprinted on my soul; "Life is not an emergency."

The words on my office wall, "Go slow. Be God-struck."

Yet I still go full steam ahead.

I read posts on facebook, and think, "They really need my prayer."... but keep scrolling.

Or whisper up a "God help them" and never give it another thought.

Last night I was convicted, y'all.

Clear to my gut.

I am His Child.  Just like my Daddy still likes to take care of His girls, God likes to take care of us.

It's kind of His job.  He created us, for crying out loud, and wants fellowship with us.  And because He knows our tendencies, He knows that sometimes we will whine. Sometimes we will snub up and pray for curses (have you read Psalms?  David prayed for affliction to come to his enemies all the time. I'm not saying he's the best example, but we still sing many of his psalms and he was a man after God's own heart... so obviously he had something going for him.)

And sometimes we will allow ourselves to get rushed... but that conviction came as I thought about what a privilege it is to be able to pray for someone... especially  if they ask me to do so. 

I can open my mouth right now and speak to Him, and He hears me. He knows what I'm saying before I say it.

And He speaks Southern.  Or Northern.  Or whatever language you speak.  You don't have to use fancy words... because He wants to hear from you just where you are.

I'm preaching to myself (because not many people may even read this blog... and that's ok.  I'm writing for an audience of one).  Thank you, Lord, for reminding me... continually... that my contribution to the betterment of this world doesn't have to be on some far away soil.

I can make a difference right here, sitting in this office chair, overlooking my work campus... if I'll just ask You to use me. 

Friend, if you are reading this, I'm making a commitment to praying for you.  For your loved ones.  For your family. For all who I may come in contact with. For our nation. 

I'm promising to be more intentional. To pause when I read those prayer requests and really think about them. 

So when I tell you I'm praying for you... I am.

Will you join me? 

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