I’m so not a morning person. But it seems that in the mornings, when I first wake up, I seem to get glimmers of ideas and insight that I don’t seem to get anytime during the day!
During that first few minutes as I become conscious, I get insight into a situation that has been bouncing around in my head for weeks, or a thought about GOD that has been runimating there between sermons and readings…and I realize it wasn’t original with me.
God was putting it together with all the input of conversations, His Word, things I have read and the rest of the night before. Then I sit down to write it out to see if it all makes sense. That is the final test.
In that process, I discuss it with Ron…often more than once! Is this concept heretical? Why? Why not? What would make it not heretical if it is right now? And on we go. Such is life with this wife of a minister. It’s not the same with all of our group (ministers’ wives) for sure. We are all so different. So are our relationships. That is just a piece of ours.
Thinking today about prayer
All that to say that this morning I woke up thinking about prayer. It is by far the weakest area of my life. I do not say that with any amount of pride…at all! I know it has to do with aspects of my personality, to say nothing of my bent as a human being. I want to do life my way! I want to live independently and on my own terms. It is only when that doesn’t work out so well that I am forced to pray that I get on my knees.
One would think I had learned after all these years to constantly be in prayer. Intellectually, I know I should be. I do converse often during the day with GOD. I know GOD has been faithful all these years. I know He is the GOD of the Covenant who has faithfully kept His promises to His people for thousands of generations.
But do I lean on Him for each need? NO! I’m way too American for that. I’m way too human as well. There is something in me that thinks I can do it myself. It’s a little like the 2 or 3 year old who obviously needs help but when offered a hand says, “I do it!” Then continues fumbling on trying to do an impossible task without the needed help.
No, I’m not talking about skills they need to practice to learn, I’m talking about things they are trying to do that they absolutely can NOT do at this point in their lives. Either they aren’t physically big enough or they don’t have the judgement to do them. But they are not wise enough to realize it…or to accept the help they absolutely need!
And what about the times another person asks for prayer?
And then there are also the times when someone needs prayer. Do I just say, “Yes, I’ll pray for you.”? or am I more like an interviewer who wants all the facts of the situation?
Frankly, I am like the latter. The truth of that hit me this morning. I don’t need all the facts. Yes,I would like them. That is especially true of those I love.
For those I love, I would like to know the process they are in. What is happening with them? How are they processing what is happening in their lives? When I have no idea what is happening…or worse,I have an idea, but don’t really know. I wonder, and would like to know.
How do I deal with it? My way of dealing with it is to ask. In one sense, I have earned the right to ask in many instances. I’m certainly willing to accept the answer that they can’t discuess it…or don’t want to. But I like to know details when I pray for people. Details keep the request sharp in my mind.
But do I need to know them in order to pray?
This mornings insight? Do you really need to know the details? No, you don’t. You don’t have to know them in order to pray for anyone.
The one who needs to know the details is GOD! Even when I know the details I do know, the Holy Spirit is going to have to fix my prayers in a way to make them acceptable to the Father.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us
with groanings too deep for words.
And he who searches hearts knows
what is the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints
according to the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27 ESV
No matter how many details I know, they won’t be enough. I don’t have an eternal perspective on the situation. I still don’t have the full perspective on the heart of the person for whom I am praying…or the full situation.
So, I will learn to pray for people and situations without having to know all the details. I don’t have to tell GOD how answer the prayer. I don’t have to tell Him how to fix the situation. Only He knows how to do that! I only need to give it to Him and ask Him to work…in ways I don’t even understand or know about!
Come to think of it, that is a very freeing outlook on prayer isn’t it?
What about you?
Can you identify with my struggles?
Where are you struggling to not know all the details
and give the situation to GOD?