"There is a price to pay, but there will be a greater price if we continue to drift."
(Wiersbe, Warren W.: Prayer : Basic Training. Wheaton, IL : Tyndale, 1988)
God, I confess my non-desire to pay that initial price. There are so many mornings like this one that I don't even think to stop and sit with you. I just want to start working and start checking off tasks. It is a struggle sometimes to even hesitate my mind in order to think of prayer. There is a great need for prayer and one of my deepest desires is to meet that need. Everyday I wish I could spend hours praying so that everyday I could pray for every one of my friends and loved ones. But there is a cost for prayer and it is sacrifice and discipline. And it is this sacrifice of time, God, that I so often don't want to make, so much so that my desire does not even evoke a thought about it. There are days when I don't think of it, and even fewer that I act on it, but the good news is, days of action are increasing in number. But I am not satisfied God, either that or I am not allowing myself grace. But if there is one thing Lord that deserves the smallest extension of grace in times of failure, it is the occurence of prayer. This is such a strong desire in me that it builds up when I don't pray until my heart is so heavy I am pulled to my knees to pray. It is the greatest thing in the world to STOP.....and pray - earnestly, fervently, relentlessly, warring on behalf of loved ones and strangers and by faith extending the reaches of the Kingdom - for we know that you work when we pray and our prayers will not be fruitless.
But Lord, I am not statisfied with my lack of action to prayer. I want to and pray that I would do this of my own choice and out of my deep desire and passion; I pray that my passion and desire would drive me to my knees so that never again will the weight of unprayed prayers be the thing that drives me there. EVERYDAY God, may I first sit at the foot of your throne and beg and plead for the lives and souls of my loved ones and those that do not know you. EVERYDAY may I traverse the earth with you in prayer, fighting with the angels on behalf of my loved ones that are so weak and beaten down they cannot fight off the evil and sin that is holding them hostage. And may I just sit with you, silent, in the comfort and protection of your mighty Daddy arms, more full of love than I will ever know or be able to comprehend. And may it be there Lord, that I find the strength to make it through the day. May it be there Lord that I am filled so that I might not run to what the world has to offer me to try to satisfy my soul. And there Lord may I always be reminded of my first love and husband, and of my single devotion to him, Jesus. May my sights be always agaze on him that I may live every moment as one who is unconditionally and passionately loved, NEVER forgetting that I am loved. Amen.
Hmmm. That was a prayer I wrote three months ago. I wish I could say that after that I was disciplined in taking set aside time to war on my knees for those that I love - I confess that I have not. But every word of that prayer still rings true in my heart and I desire it as much now as I did then. The thing I cannot understand is how I can have so much passion and desire for something, yet not have it show in my everyday life. Where is the disconnect? Where is the passion restrained so that everyday I do not get on my knees to pray? It may be likely that it is the same thing that seems to always get in the way of what I deeply desire - namely, my mindset that I must perform and work for my worth and acceptance. At the end of the day, if I didn't get much done, I feel horrible, like I am horrible. So as the end of the day draws near and I reflect on all that I wanted/needed to do yet is not finished, I push aside what is much more important to me so that I can try to accomplish more so that I feel of worth. *sigh* Does anyone else feel this way?
" O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?" (Galatians 3:1-6, ESV)
" For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all," (Romans 4:13-16, ESV)
" Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1, ESV)
It often think about these truths in response to this mindset of mine. The last verse, Romans 5:1, is maybe what I need to remember most - I am justified because of my faith, not my works, and have peace with God. I'm not sure where in the 12 or so inches from my brain to my heart exists the disconnect. My head knows these truths very well, but as is obvious from my constant working, I have yet to let these truths sink into my heart and believe them wholeheartedly.
Why do I constantly feel that I have to work for God?
I wish I could just work with Him.
Do I feel that I do not "have peace with God?"
I can't say that I particularly feel at war with Him.
Have I not accepted and/or do I not believe the Gospel?
It seems that maybe I have accepted it intellectually, but not yet believed it with my heart to the point of shedding this performance mindset.
How clear to me is my desperate need for the Gospel every day. Oh that I would accept Jesus' abundant grace and stop working, that I could eliminate this fear by working with God, dependent on His work for outcomes, not working for God, depending on my actions for outcome - that would make developing my team of ministry partners so much more pleasant and so much less stressful.
Yet I praise God anyway, because I know he is working in me. :)