Saturday, October 24, 2009

Irresistible Invitation

Three weeks ago Matt preached perhaps one of my favorite sermons. The message was quite simple: pray. There was no guilt trip. No, it was an irresistible invitation.

Pray. For it is fellowship with God.
Pray. For it is a beckoning to join with God in accomplishing His eternal purposes.
Pray. For it truly changes things.
Pray. For it is a means of confession + fighting sin.
Pray. For it is an act of humility.

The last statement is what has lingered in my heart and mind. Too often I neglect prayer because, ever so subtly, I am convinced that I have enough control in a situation to effect a desirable outcome. In other words I'm saying, "It's alright, God. I got this one."

"It's alright, God. I can try to be a good wife and do all the good wifely things so that my husband and therefore You are pleased."

"It's alright, God. I can just try to have more patience with my children. Maybe I won't ruin them forever. Maybe if I read the right Bible stories, pray the right bedtime prayers and be a good, happy Mommy, they'll know you."

"It's alright, God. I can give good enough advice and the perfect Bible verse to a struggling saint so that she can struggle well."

And so on, and so on.

Now, I'm not saying that any of the above actions are bad. On the contrary, they are all good and wise things. However, it's where I am starting that is sinful. I'm not beginning with Him, His Son's work on the cross and the Spirit's power. I'm beginning with me--what I can do. To put it simply, I am prideful and presumptuous.

What a weight to bear. Too much, really. How silly to presume that I can carry all of that on my own.

So, instead of trying to "be good," I'm giving it up. Or, I guess, lifting it up. As a mother of three now, my prayer closet looks more like vacuuming or mowing or folding clothes than an actual closet. But it's happening. I'm praying because I want to know Him. I want to be a part of the advancing of His Kingdom. I want to see change--in me and in others. I want to fight sin. I want to humble myself before the Sovereign King.