November 16, 2011
Wednesday morning...(afternoon?) grace.
My body needs to be told I'm on West Coast time now. It missed the memo, it still wants to wake up at 5:00 and go to bed at 7:30. This is not conducive to real life. But while I was still on East coast time I heard a killer sermon on Luke 11.
[Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.]
I often read this from the perspective that the disciples were trying to figure out a easy solution to prayer. Like they were looking for some kind of "Pray like Jesus in 30 days or your money back!" scheme. But this week I've been freshly reminded of my need for prayer. I know how to talk, I know how to form words together to communicate with my Father but it's like I forget the gospel in my prayers. They become incredibly focused on myself and I loose sight of who I'm praying to. They become a continuation of my whining and complaining. I pray without looking up, I don't have faith or hope for the future and I am certainly not trusting my gracious Father for sustaining grace. They are just words that have been completely removed from my heart.
[And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and he will answer from within, 'Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything'?I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!]
God is not the nasty neighbor in this story. He used the neighbor as a illustration to say if this miserable, sinful, man will give his neighbor good things, how much MORE will Christ? What grabs me in this story is the mans persistence, he needs it, he's desperate for it and he's not going to stop banging on that front door. He's not shameful or shy, he is aware of his need and he asks for it.
Father forgive me for loosing that desperation in my prayer. Forgive me for marching to you and stamping my foot and demanding things. Forgive me for assuming I know the outcome, and not seeing my need to pray. Forgive me for doubting your faithful character and your abundant love. Teach me how to pray like how you taught your disciples. So that you may be glorified and I might see you clearer. Train my brain to slow down so that my heart can keep up. Knock down the walls that the world is seeking to build up in my heart and renew the passion to talk with my heavenly Father.