Friday, 13 March 2009

Questions about prayer... and "Christian influences" vs Your influence

August 23, 2008

Just praying “from the list” again, and thinking about how “complicated” it all seems to us, and how maybe the way we wish (and pray) things will turn out isn’t Your will because You see the whole picture, and You know how it is all being “worked together”… and again I was kind of wondering why You want us to pray, anyway – it isn’t as though You need our prayers… but then it occurred to me that if I am praying – even if I am “praying from a list” and really don’t know how to pray beyond that Your will be done (and within that, quoting Your Word, like “It is not God’s will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”) – just the simple act of praying, weak as my “prayers” may be is an act of obedience, an act of trust in Your promises (that You listen and answer, that our prayers are as sweet incense to You, that somehow You do use them for Your purposes, etc)… and wonder of wonders, that in the act of prayer, we are opening ourselves (even if just a little, to start with) to communication and knowing and being in relationship with You – which is totally amazing and wonderful and makes it totally worthwhile. Joy! Praise God! Thank You for showing me this, Lord! Amen! Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit!

….. I was thinking of just not bothering anymore going through my journals… but Lord, it is amazing (and instructive) to see the path on which You have taken me. Please give me wisdom in what to do about this. Thank You. Amen.

(I sure was influenced by books, and websites, and preachers, and email lists – many of which seemed very Godly – but one thing I am noticing as I go through these 2001-2002 journals is how hard I was trying to not only be obedient – but to please You, and earn Your blessings, etc. And You kept saying, Rest. Know Me. Love Me. Respond to Me. Follow Me. And I was – the best I knew how, following all those expectations of “church” and “ministry” and “tithe” and “perfect Godly family” etc etc etc. Not that those are inherently totally wrong things – but it does look as if they were trying to be the “path to You” instead of being the outcome and portion of relationship with You. I was so weary…

But I was also so convinced that doing those things was the way to please You and follow You and draw near to You… and so in the intervening years You have allowed me to try and do it that way (man’s way, I’m beginning to see, more and more clearly) and none of it – all kinds of involvement and service/ ministry etc in my “local church” (I just had to have a “church” – traditional, institutional, busy, programmed – didn’t I… even though it looks to me now that maybe You were trying to free me from all that back then, 6 years ago!) and then my 4 years of “Christian School teaching” (where You really opened my eyes to the tyranny of the world’s way, of society’s expectations… all so “well meant” and so “ministry-minded” and so engaged in for “Your glory” … even though my home school years should have warned me… but I also wanted a dependable income…) How slow I have been at learning to know You, trust You, walk in relationship with You, step back and wait to see what You are doing, in Your times and purposes, and be content- joyful – to be part of it simply, as You open the way, in my day to day, moment to moment journey with You…

Oh my goodness!

Thank You, Lord, for opening my eyes (at least a little wider – keep at it, please, Lord!) Thank You!

….. Father, at the church annual meeting they said “Go home and pray and then we’ll meet again,” and LORD, I have prayed, I have sought Your will, Your face… and I have tried to put all my ways, my thoughts, my ideas behind me, and listen openly to You… and be willing to even plunge back into the whole “our church” thing…

But today, after reading that guy’s posting, and checking out his website – after You gave me this summer, and the web/ blog my daughter set up and paid for, and his totally unexpected response… surely Lord, it seems to me that this must be from You… so maybe it is time for me to move on… But always, the cry of my heart is, “What would YOU have me to do? … “I” want to respond to that guy… Do You want me to? Lord???

…… I am just typing God’s word to me from July 8 2002. And – amazing, wonderful God! – in it He quotes to me the very verse that I needed again – and “just happened to reach” in my Bible-read-through today – Psalm 119: 105 (Which also is a confirmation to me of the blog posting You told me to post today… and my wondering about whether all this journal copying is worth it…) Thank You, Lord! What an amazing Word You gave me that day… (and yes, I’m sorry I didn’t remember it…) (Thank You for bringing it back to me again today, now… in Your perfect timing!)

…. Lord is, this the “Lord’s Day” You had planned for me? (Seems like a good way to spend time when I can’t really go anywhere with the roads all blocked off due to triathlon… even “the church” closed…. I have been astounded by what I’ve been typing – and wondering how after You showed me all that, I could have failed again and again so badly in regards to loving and submitting to my husband – and wondering if, with all my wondering about the “church thing” I’ve lost track of how important it is to be HOLY – like Jesus – in every aspect of life (but maybe I was trying too hard to be holy by doing all those “church” things (and wearing skirts, and all that tithing stuff… or was it right? Oh dear God, please show me Your Truth! I did seem to have an amazing amount of relationship with You (even if it seemed awfully up and down and maybe emotional, but I also seemed to be working awfully hard at it… I am kind of confused… because it’s all seemed such a long journey and I seem to have “taken two steps back” so often in forgetting amazing things from You almost as soon as I’ve “learned” them – but always, always, always longing for MORE of YOU!!!

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