Not Enough Prayer

[DISCLAIMER: I apologize for taking three days for delivering this next segment.  It has been a busy 72 hours.  Not too busy to pray, however.  By the way, let me give kudos to my new blog manager Jonathan Howe.  Jonathan is Beth Howe’s husband.  Beth is CrossPoint’s Children’s Minister, which means, Jonathan is now one of two CrossPoint male “staff wives”.  Ha!  I will tell you more about Jonathan in a later blog.  Jonathan is a team player.  Now back to the lessons I have learned from my television fast.]

For review, one particular morning God drops four bombs on me:

  • Heat seeking missile #1: I do not pray enough.
  • Bomb #2: I do not study enough.
  • Ballistic weapon #3: I do not read enough.
  • Rocket #4: I do not think enough.

This air raid lands on me now that I have more time away from the television.

It is a Tuesday.  Tuesdays are always full days.  Staff meetings consume the morning.  Lunch is with someone—a staff member, part of the staff, or, once a month, the entire staff.  The afternoon is full of scheduled appointments from 2:30 until 6:30 PM.  The day draws toward an end when I call CrossPoint’s first-time guests from the previous weekend.  Then it is off to home by 8:00 PM or later.  Supper awaits me, and soon thereafter I am in bed.  Tuesday is a frenetic day.

This particular Tuesday morning I have been praying and reading my Bible for more than a few minutes.  I hear the clock in my study chime 8 times.  “Didn’t it just strike 7:00?” I ask myself.  I should be leaving for the office.

I sit in silence.

The Lord calms me.  He reassures me it is okay to wait a few more minutes before I walk out the door to embrace my day. I have exhausted my requests.  Surprisingly, there is nothing else to say.  The moment is about to become salient.  Even though I am in a rush, I am compelled to stay.

I pray (and write in my journal), “Father, now that You know everything that is on my mind, what do you want to talk about?”

I wait.

I am reminded of 1 John 2:15-17.

“Why 1 John 2:15-17,” I wonder.

I shuffle the pages.

John records,

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

It has been a while since I have been here.  I read it again, only this time slower.  I read it a third and a fourth time.  I work on memorizing it from the English Standard Version.

Then I ask, “What in the world do I love?”  I state one particular sentence out loud: “if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  I write the passage in my journal.  I direct the question to my Father.  Again, I ask, “What in the world do I love?”

Again, I wait.  Strange enough, I am not in a hurry.

Something happens.  It takes me several minutes, but I arrive at a central point in prayer.  I remember how much prayer matters.  Now, instead of talking to God I am listening to God.  Instead of expressing my concerns, I am asking what concerns Him.  Prayer is no longer about me.  Prayer is about God.  What a novel thought.

And there is my lesson: prayer is not about me; prayer is about God.

Let’s pick up on one or two more thoughts next Monday.  I plan to give some application to how to know if and when you are praying enough.  I hope you have a great weekend.  Keep praying.


2 Responses to “Not Enough Prayer”

  1. 1 Ron
    March 28, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    The most important thing I read was your comment… “Prayer is about God.” That made my mind jump to my prayer time recently where I prayed over and over… “THY Kingdom come… THY will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Prayer IS about God… not us, not me, not my family.

    Do we get it? Do we understand? Do we have any more of a point of reference than the Apostles did who constantly missed what Jesus was teaching? I don’t think I get it. But hopefully I’m getting it more each day.

    Thanks for the reminder… Prayer is about God.

  2. 2 fason
    March 30, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    really great stuff this past week. it’s always nice to come back from a trip w/ no phone or internet and see what you’ve been up to. for the past year (has it really been that long?) i’ve struggled in making my prayer life more meaningful than listing my screw-ups and thanking God for food. the Psalms of David really beat me up with their poetic beauty but also challenge me to think of God as more than a receptacle for my sinfulness. as you stated, “prayer is not about me; prayer is about God.”

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