Thursday, November 02, 2006

Doing the prayer jig...

I talk to God.

How can one not respond to the One who is speaking (Hebrews 12:25).
I think a lot of the teaching on prayer that I hear is anthropocentric,
a big word that means man centered. We lose sight of the great truth
of the gospel both hidden in the shadows of the old or in the light
of the new that God is the initiator and we are the responders. I
think that is an important to understand in prayer and most
everything else in the christian life.

I think a lot of the issue is our culture. We are a self focused
people, everything holy gets turned into something about
me...somehow, someway. Most of the excitement about prayer is often
focused around something that has do with benefiting me, my church or
our little world. Now, I do think that prayer is about us as well..we
are the ones called to pray and present our needs to the Father. It's
the move towards a circus like atmosphere that was present on the top
of mount Carmel that worries me. It's the way a holy act of
listening, sharing and obeying starts looking or sounding like a work
instead of a means of Grace.

I pray...But my prayer life is with a person not a machine.

Person-hood has seasons, movement, closeness and nearness, periods of
great passion and intimacy and eclipses of shadow. The tide comes in
and moves out. There are times when we are united in such a way that
one seems to be lost in the other. But there are also times when both
of us seem to be on different planets talking through a can and
string. I don't worry about it. I don't wring my hands in a heat of
manic introspection. I trust the seasons and the Life of God in me and
for God to be the initiator in my spiritual life. I trust Him to be
Lord and shepherd of my soul. I have placed my spiritual life in His
hands and He has been faithful to lead, guide, correct and resurrect
me. He visits me by His grace and through the means of grace that He
has given me to enjoy and draw near to Him. I find Him because He
reveals Himself to me in many ways and many forms and the results are
always a humble thankfulness for His self-revelation to me. He draws
me, He speaks to me, He walks with me as a friend who has said He
would never leave me nor forsake me. That frees me from performance
and fear or a need to bend His arm. It liberates me from thinking I
have to get His attention, wake Him up or kick Him in the pants to
get Him to do something. I have resigned to the fact that I am not
God's secretary, wife or parent. I am simply His servant, here to
serve Him at His bidding. That is a place of rest, not inactivity but
form a posture of peace, security, confidence and humility.

I have been involved in the prayer different forms. I
was at the CAll DC, I've trekked to the UK to talk, see and
experience some of the hotspots of the 24-7 prayer movement, I have had contact with some of the leaders and offspring of the movement. I've read the books, the websites and been involved in the "flow" as it
expresses itself in corporate gatherings and local late night prayer
and fasting vigils. I cut our youth churches teeth on MIdnight
prayer. I'm just trying to give some background to show that I am
speaking from within not without the movement. I hope to help read
the map, adjust the sails and arrange for the best man power where it
is needed to catch the moving wind. A crazy yet necessary task, I am
also tending to my own sails and seeking to best equip the church to
catch the great wind of God that was unleashed on Pentecost and is
making its way through our planet in His time, in His way and with
His glory in sight as the end.

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