Saturday, June 14, 2008

How Do You Know?

So, I'm thinking about what it means to wait on the Lord and I found this fantastic article.

I'm still waiting, but I have to be DOING something with my brain while I'm waiting, so I start wondering. Wondering if it's cool to ask for prayer for something like a house or a car from a friend who is in full-time missions and up to her ears in NEED. Is what I want/hope for/desire even remotely triggering a bump on the scale of things God cares about?

Of course the answer is yes. But it's also no. Because it's not about what we want, is it? It's about the heart that wants it and the One who has plans that we have no idea about.

So...how do we pray? Jesus already told us. Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.

That's a good solid prayer.

Do you have to stop yourself from saying, "But..." when you get a good hard look at it? I do sometimes. Because I spent years in YWAM in the schools of intercession talking about prayer, praying, researching prayer, studying prayer, etc., and it got complicated. Don't get me wrong-- I don't think that stuff was wrong. I think it was RIGHT. But I also think that there is something so simple that we are missing sometimes.

Because I get it into my head that I have to pray just this way or cock my head to the right and say just this combination of words or ... and it doesn't stay there long, but it's superstition that we are sort of wired to lean toward. I can make it happen or not happen because everything that happens can be controlled by me in some way.

Nuh-uh.

I had some friends who meant well but whose theology was a little wack-o and I didn't realize it until I was able to stand back and look at some advise/opinions/actions with distance of time and space. They wouldn't walk into certain stores or talk to certain people because of spiritual residue or something (for the sake of full disclosure, I am now one of those people in their book), and it occurred to me that this didn't fit well with that whole conversation in Colossians:

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)-- in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence...Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth (Colossians 2)

That's a loose correlation, but my point is that He hasn't called us to be superstitious people. Not to pollute ourselves either, but not to fear walking across the threshold of a book shop in England because they have New Age paraphernalia-- hello. My Father made all of this. I don't have to be afraid of the trinkets of the enemy. I'm not cavalier either, but anyway...what was my point?

Praying for things could be simple, right? Jesus, please do your will. I trust you. Thank you.

OH, for that simplicity. In my head, I'm fighting a war, but who fights it really? Is it really us?

Yes and no-- Daniel fasted and prayed for all of those days-- when the angel of the Lord FINALLY made it to him with the answer to the prayer, he told Daniel that he had been fighting the Prince of Persia that whole time. Our understanding is, then, that Daniel's praying and fasting helped that situation. I need to read that passage again.

I know we're called to come alongside the Lord in prayer and ask ("You do not receive because you do not ask"). Just ask. And to bring pure hearts before Him. Pure motives. That we would check our hearts and motives as we pray and that He would direct our prayer the way He directs our paths.

Until then, there are the things we want. And He is our Father and He loves us.

So I have something I want desperately. Here I am, asking. Jesus, I'm asking. I'm asking you to see it, hear it, and to do Your perfect will-- not mine. I trust you.

That's a good prayer.

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