OK here goes. Lord, we just ask that You come and minister to us in this place. We love You and ask that you just teach us Your desire for us. Just reach down and take a hold of us Lord. We come to You as people who need Your guidance and pray that You just lead our lives. We also pray Lord that you would just take our cares and….blah blah blah.
OK so how many of you do that? I am not sure what caused this to click in my mind this week, but why do we say just when speaking to God? I have a theory. We say the word just in order to make our requests sound like an afterthought. Oh Lord, just do this one little thing. I know You can do it so I am asking in a very pagan way in order to try and trick You into doing it. If I can convince You that it wouldn’t be a big deal, then You will do it without thinking.
This is pagan. When we try to manipulate God by choosing our words carefully, we are acting as pagans. I know, you have never tried to manipulate God in your prayers…liar. I can’t tell you how many times I have thrown just into the mix. Yeah I may not have specifically thought about what I was saying but I definitely can see where this attitude would infect my prayers.
Words mean something, pay attention the next time you pray. What words are you using? What do those words mean? Is God not so awesome that we should take care of the words we use to speak to Him?
I caught myself doing something today. I am not sure exactly when it started, but I am sure that it was early on in my life. I realized that I have been doing this for quite some time now but it has never occurred to me like it did this morning. You see, I am taking a certification exam today for Microsoft Vista and I was asking God for His help. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with that right? Here’s where it skips the rails though…see if this sounds familiar in your life. Lord, I need Your help today. This exam is very important for both my career and the certification of the company. I need to lean on You today, rest in Your wisdom, and rely on Your grace.
OK, what was wrong? Did you catch it? If you did…good for you. If you didn’t…join the club. For years I prayed for God to help me with ____ because I needed Him for it. For years I prayed that He would help me because I needed Him today. Then today it hit me…what about yesterday? What about the other exam?
I need God. It isn’t a matter of knowing what the hard things are and making sure you give them to Him. I know that my theological construct was not based on only needing Him for certain things but that it how I prayed. My understanding and my initial reaction to situations were not matching up. If I truly believe that I need Him for everything, then why would I pray that I need Him for this and that specifically? I know that for some this sounds like I am needlessly picking apart the semantics of my prayers…but this is needed isn’t it? Shouldn’t our words more closely match our true beliefs? If they don’t, are they true beliefs? Is it truly the foundation of your life that you need God? Is it truly the foundation of your life that God’s grace is needed every day and for everything that happens in your life?
God, I need You. I need You today just as I did yesterday and just as I will tomorrow. Please help me…and give me my daily rations of grace. The only reason that I am able to even take the exam is but for the grace and mercy that you have given me. Not my will, but Your’s be done.
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday. Years ago his “I have a dream” speech sent chills through the spines of millions of people and continues to do so today. His vision is with us all and we continue to fight for that ultimate brotherhood of man. We got the house and the senate to put it on paper but are we any closer to what he dreamed today than we were those many years ago? One of my good friends is always saying that we need to change lives not laws. I couldn’t agree more. This plays itself out every day of our lives when we are faced with discontented, angry, and hopeless people. We scream about abortion laws, marriage laws, tax laws…but we never even whisper about Jesus.
Rhetoric does not satisfy the soul. New laws will not feed people who are starving for purpose. Only Jesus does. Two thousand years ago He proclaimed that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. (Matt: 4:4). Are you hungry? broken? dispossessed? searching for meaning? purpose?…Do you thirst for truth? God wants to speak to you straight from His heart. After hope and reason have failed, faith conquers. -Wellington Boone-
As much as I admire MLKJ for what he said AND for what he did to back up his words; I can’t help thinking that he would be saddened to see where we are…yeah sure we’re about to place a black man in the white house. I understand the historical nature of that, not as much as others, but I understand. I can’t, however, help but think that he would say that we still have it all wrong when we focus so much on the color of the skin and not the color of their heart. People need Jesus. Whether Obama is black or white does not change the fact that people need Jesus. (Note: do NOT cue People Need The Lord by Steve Green)
Maybe I’m all washed up…forgive me if I am. I dunno, I guess if we want to honor him we should use this coming Monday to introduce people to the One who can give them a better dream…wow that sounded much better in my head. That was horribly cheezy. Ugh.