Cut Flowers Prayers
I admit, I pray desperately almost daily. Often with passion, pleading, tears, fury, and grieving. Unfortunately, I don’t feel comfortable doing this at Church. I have found very few churches that I can offer my desperate pleadings to God. A typical Sunday morning prayer is, “Dear Lord, we thank you for this day, and we ask you to be with us in all we say and do, Amen.” Eugene Peterson calls them “cut-flower prayers”. They are not like Jesus’ prayers, or, for that matter, like the psalms.
This morning I read Hebrews 5:7, “While Jesus was here on earth, He offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the One who could deliver Him.” (NLT version) Don’t get me wrong, I love the church and the people in the church. My prayers are often NOT cordial or modest. Wherever I am, if God tells me to get on my knees and bow before Him. I have to obey.
I was in the gym yesterday and God said “get on your knees”, so I did and began to pray out loud. Well, the management knows I do this when God calls me to. As I was praying for others in the gym, my personal trainer, Jennifer, and an elderly gentleman got on their knees and joined me. LA Fitness became our Church!
Yet E. M. Bounds reminds us in his book, Man of Prayer: "Desire gives fervor to prayer. The soul cannot be listless when some great desire fixes and inflames it...Strong desires make strong prayers...The neglect of prayer is the fearful token of dead spiritual desires...There can be no true praying without desire."
Today I ask the Spirit to give me new insight into God’s love. I also asked God how to put that love into practice as I proclaim the heart of Jesus to those around me. I don’t pretend, I am a broken woman with my arms and heart wide open to my Abba Father. I pray I can offer grace to others and we will be “gracefully broken” together. I pray that anything that comes between me and my Father will be torn down.
I have a mighty army working overtime in me as God gives me “insight” love and courage to fight for those who have no voice and no defense to stand up for themselves. This is NOT a game-this is life! There is an urgency here! The enemy is battling for your heart. We cannot earn God’s grace, it is a gift. Let’s celebrate the gift of God’s grace and be bearers of grace to one another. Let’s not be impatient with one another and let’s remember how God dealt with us: with patience and gentleness. But also, never watering down the truth of God. Let the Scriptures have their way and never apologize for it. Jesus said in Mathew 28:19, “Go, make disciples…”, not make converts to your own thoughts and opinions.
I am hearing God say, “Take liberty to be spontaneously in love with Me and those around you. I, Love, have absolute control and authority of your big beautiful and adventurous life!