Monday, June 24, 2013

Praying with desperate faith....

Over the past several weeks there have been many things that I've prayed about, and many more things that I really should be praying about.

Tonight, as Stephanie and I reflected upon a whole slew of things that are going on in our lives, we felt compelled to pray.  And yet as I prayed, I began to feel convicted about my lack of faith in prayer...which is fundamentally a lack of faith in God.   Of course I believe "prayer works" that is that God works in us and through us when we pray.  But, I felt like in a lot of ways, I haven't really been believing that.  We feel overwhelmed by so much right now, and although there is a sense in which we are "giving it all up to God", we are also quite stressed and exhausted and discouraged because we aren't thoroughly "giving it up to God."  

The Lord met me tonight, reminding me of his power and might, and provoking me to pray more faithfully.  In Joshua chapter 2, Rahab the Canaanite prostitute understands God's strength accurately and recognizes her own weakness and inability.  I need to do both of those things more.  I need to faith like she had.

This past fall, I was talking to some of our students about prayer and I had them watch a clip from the movie Act of Valor.  (It's on Youtube if you care to look for it. It's the boat rescue scene, and there is some profane language depending on how long the clip is.)  Basically the Navy Seals are getting picked up by these two boats after rescuing a woman from some hostiles.  The Swift Rescue boat comes to get them has these incredible machine guns (called a mini-gun) and they are unleashing this absolutely incredible amount of fire power upon the enemy.  They are spraying so many bullets so thoroughly that the enemy literally has no choice but to keep their head down and hide....or be killed!   And while the enemy is ducking for cover, the SEALs are able to load up in the boat and drive away safe.

The whole scene is pretty awe inspiring, but what I appreciate most about it is the way that the SEALS speeding down the road to the extraction point are communicating with the boat guys on the radio.  In his sermon "Prayer the Work of Missions", John Piper likens prayer to a "war time walkie-talkie."  He points out the way that we pray so passively because we fail to recognize that life is a spiritual battle.  Prayer is our direct line of communication with God in this messy missional adventure called life, yet we regard it so lightly.  We treat it like a luxury intercom system that we can use to page the butler to ask him to bring more pillows down to the family room, when it is actually our extremely vital communication life line!

May we pray with more faith this summer.  Without it...we're dying!