I'm chatting with my Dad, it's a normal conversation on a Tuesday morning. We're discussing a book I'm reading when all of a sudden I hear:
"Oh my... I gotta go."
"Gotta go, they've got Grandpa on a stretcher, he's going in the ambulance. Call you back."
And the line goes dead. And everything stops. We drop everything, the kids and I, and we pray. We pray hard. And we get another reminder of what really matters - people, God, eternity.
Oh, how we can pray when the need is dire - when someone you love is out flat on a hospital bed - you PRAY. But, what if we prayed like that every day? I mean, if the urgency for saving souls and saving lives was in the every step? If the urgency of praying for our children and our neighbors and our family was the first thing on our mile-long to-do list. Not the last thing we try to mutter out as we fall asleep at midnight. (Guilty.)
I desperately need to press the stop button to the craziness of life. Literally, every day press that button. Stop the click, click, click of the keyboard. Stop the constant chatter of the newsfeed. Stop the music, stop the cooking, stop the reading - just stop. Stop, and enter into another place. The place where I quietly meet with my deepest companion and the one I call Lord of my life.
The Holy God of the universe beckons me to sit with Him -
but do I have the time?
It's like Ann Voskamp said, He is the creator of all time, but who among us has time for God?
I whine that things aren't turning out. I worry hard. I'm getting those frown lines my Dad warned me about. I cry there's no money for NACHU, and the partnerships are falling through, and Grandpa's in the hospital and Grandma's not well. And the house is falling apart and the children are arguing and Monday's to-dos are still not to-done and I stamp my feet like a child on the inside. My poor husband. Oh, I talk about things and I whine about them until I'm dry in the mouth but for what? I'm convicted deep in my soul tonight - what I really need to do is bow and talk to the One who knows all and sees all and is all and has already conquered all.
We have time for Facebook, time for Twitter, time for YouTube, time for Pinterest, but who has time for Almighty God? Who has time to read His word or seek His face? YHWH, the Creator has invited us in and yet, we sell-out for mindless entertainment, clutter, and endless photos of re-worked mason jars.
Friends, I'm struggling.
My heart is aching.
I'm missing Him.
I'm hearing His gentle call to unplug. To dial in to what He has for this child of His. To plug IN to what I can do for those around me. To actually seek the way Christ beckons us to seek. To do that whole 'pray without ceasing' deal. Yeah, for once, to try that on for size. To see what God might do if I actually bend low and spend more time with Him than I do surfing the web. Radical, I know.
Yesterday I read the words of Oswald Chambers, and my mouth dropped. These words met me right where I am and sat deep in my spirit. It's so simple, yet, perhaps the most revealing truth about the present-day Western Christian church. (And me.)
"Prayer does not equip us for greater works - prayer is the greater work. Yet we think of prayer as some commonsense exercise of our higher powers that simply prepares us for God's work. In the teachings of Jesus Christ, prayer is the working of the miracle of redemption in me, which produces the miracle of redemption in others, through the power of God. The way fruit remains firm is through prayer...
Prayer is the battle, and it makes no difference where you are. However god may engineer your circumstances, your duty is to pray. Never allow yourself this thought, 'I am of no use where I am,' because you certainly cannot be used where you have not yet been placed. Wherever God has placed you and whatever your circumstances, you should pray, continually offering up prayers to Him. And He promises, 'Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do...'. Yet we refuse to pray unless it thrills or excites us, which is the most intense form of spiritual selfishness.
We must learn to work according to God's direction, and He says to pray. 'Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest...' (Matt. 9:38). There is nothing thrilling about a laboring person's work, but it is the laboring person who makes the ideas of the genius possible. And it is the laboring saint who makes the ideas of His Master possible. When you labor at prayer, from God's perspective there are always results. What an astonishment in will be to see, once the veil is finally listed, all the souls that have been reaped by you, simply because you have need in the habit of taking your orders from Jesus Christ."
(Oct 17th of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers)
I want to start a new journey. A journey where Facebook and Pinterest and every other form of distraction is laid down for the sake of prayer. For the sake of getting on my face and laboring at the foot of His cross.
So, for the next several weeks, I'm humbly going to try a new series on prayer called simply, "Time for God". I am really not sure what this series will consist of - I'm waiting to see what I read in God's word and what He whispers to me, by His grace.
I also have no idea how often I will post or when I'll pop on to Facebook, etc. I pray through this series, you will journey with me and be called to Christ as well.
Let's dare to clear out the distractions, get honest about what holds us back, and press in to a lifestyle of intentional prayer and obedience.