Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Scary Prayers

If you're a Christian and have prayed any amount of prayers, you have probably prayed at least one that scared you. For example, take the "Lord, give me patience" prayer...ouch! Haha! Anytime we begin to submit our flesh to God and ask him to make us look more like his Son- we can pretty much assume it's gonna entail some discomfort. If you're new to Christianity or aren't a Christian, this type of "self inflicted" pain probably seems strange. I can honestly say that the first few "scary prayers" are most likely done naively.
 Take the new wife who is struggling to find peace in her marriage: she prays, "God, please help us get along!" Next thing you know, it hits the fan! In the midst of the marital non-bliss, Holy Spirit tells her to feed his sheep or wash their feet or something else equally hippy-ish and spread the love sounding. More realistically - serve your him Christ's love. *kill the 50's show tunes and birds chirping outside window* 
New wife is confused and slightly perturbed! This is NOT what she had in mind when she prayed! 
This is what I mean by naive prayers. We pray for one thing not knowing that our desired result will require some stretching on our part. We eventually catch on, though, and even realize the end result is worth it.  At which point we can either choose to ignore the need to pray for things that might involve us stepping out of our comfort zone or just give in already! Chances are, if we're feeling the need to pray about something, Holy Spirit is already working in us regarding said thing anyways- might as well work with Him rather than against.
So what's my point with all this uncomfortable prayer talk, you ask? Well.....I have a prayer bubbling in my soul and it's......SCARY!!!  I've been feeling like my faith has become routine. I sing about Christ's sacrifice and love, but  do I really believe it? Have I grown cold? Do I truly appreciate his death or do I take it for granted?  Sunday during worship, we sang a song referencing Phillipians 3:10: "that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death..." I should have quit singing. I felt like a fake. I have no desire to suffer. I have a feeling most of us in the church singing that song truly do not mean the words we're saying. We're privileged. We have little working knowledge of suffering and have no desire to. I'm left with the question of what will refresh my faith- my gratitude. Enter my prayer, which encompasses all those emotions and questions. Paul counted "everything as loss because of the surpassing knowledge of knowing Jesus Christ".  I'm not there yet. Do I dare pray that God take me there? 
Do I dare know him in his sufferings? Is Holy Spirit already working in me concerning this? Should I just give in already? 

This post doesn't have a pretty, wrapped up ending. It ends with a question, because that's what I'm left with in my mind. I will however leave you with a verse that I have been soaking in the last couple days. 
" I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own.
    We are not able to plan our own course.
24 So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle.
    Do not correct me in anger, for I would die." Jeremiah 10:23-24

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