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Day thirty eight; Sacrifice in Prayer

05 Apr

 

 

 

 

I have never been one to pray every day, as in set time aside and start ‘dear lord.’

I speak to God all the time.

I used to think that this was good enough, but when I met Simon last year, I made it a point to pray every night together before we go to sleep.

It was very strange in the beginning. I didn’t want him to think I was mad, he doesn’t go to church since he lost his mum, and a persons’ religion is probably the most personal thing you can engage.

So one day, a couple of months into it, I just prayed, very briefly, the lords prayer…whispered it.

The next week I added something about us, where we are, what we want, gave our thanks.

It’s risky because I was speaking for someone else.

Now we begin with the lords prayer every night, and say something little and thank God.

I found out two things.

1.            Speaking to God outside of prayer, is mostly speaking to myself, and mostly done by everyone. We all have a conversation about the moments of our lives as we have them. Maybe I am too general in assuming that everyone then prays to God. So I won’t be harsh on myself and that form of prayer. But it is internal, it’s about me, it’s about my needs in life and does not require sacrifice.

2.            Setting aside time requires sacrifice. It requires giving up some of my ‘me’ time and setting God up infront of me, distinct from myself, and speaking to him. Sometimes I just rush through the lords prayer. I’m tired, or I’m despondant – thinking ‘…is this really working…’ or belligerent, saying to myself that I don’t do formalized prayer.

I heard a sermon, first Sunday of Lent on how much time I give to God. If I go to church once a week, for a year, that’s 52 day’s out of 360, roughly seven days. And of those day’s it’s about an hour’s service, maybe two.

I want the best from God, yet give him the left-overs of my life.

Setting this time aside for prayer is less than a minute a day. And still it’s difficult.

It makes me feel a little less petulant when I’m screaming for help in times of need.

Over the course of the year, I have found that putting myself before God and asking, even quietly, that he lead my life, gives room to grow, that he’s made. I can stand freely in life, and chart my course.

Jesus, tonight I’m saying thank you for the encouragement you gave to me to start the process, thank you for listening every night, and perhaps, forgive me for the quality of the words.

Tonight I am saying that I’m sorry that you had to suffer so.

I’m sorry for putting you last.

 

“Offer up the sacrifice of Praise” (Hebrews 13:15)

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2 Comments

Posted by on April 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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2 responses to “Day thirty eight; Sacrifice in Prayer

  1. Paula Tohline Calhoun

    April 5, 2012 at 04:03

    You mean I’m not supposed to be first?

    One might think that is the way I judging by how I act sometimes. It is shaming, isn’t it? If God is speaking to us through the needs of others, and I am not helping to fill the needs that I am given the equipment and strength to, then I am essentially ignoring God, and putting God agenda at the bottom of my “to do” list.

    More reasons to ask for forgiveness, and they keep piling up day by day by day. The pile just keeps getting bigger.

    You are so right about prayer. I, too, talk to God constantly. Sometimes crying, sometimes, laughing, sometimes just giving God a bit of advice. God seldom takes it. . .wait, actually, I don’t believe God has ever taken my advice! Strange, isn’t it?

    It has also been difficult and a challenge that I have yet to meet in setting aside a special time each day – or several times a day – for prayer. When I do, my day goes so much more smoothly – one wonders why I am not consistent. I think because I don’t always make the connection until well after the fact. But making that time helps me to focus on the tasks at hand each day.

    One thing I will tell you that i do consistently. The little annoying “time-blips” in an ordinary day – time at the stop light, or waiting in the checkout line in a store, or at the post-office, etc. Those I call my “mini-prayer” times. They are brief times just to “check in” with God, to take my spiritual temperature. Sometimes, it’s to pray for the person in front of me or behind me in line, or in the car. Helps me to focus away from myself to where my focus belongs – outside of myself. I have a very favorite hymn that I will be singing in church soon as a solo. It reminds me, that even when I pray, it is because God has called me to it, and I have answered that call. Makes me wonder how often I fail to hear that call, and God sticks with me anyway. Just like Jesus on the road with us – with all He has to face this weekend, too. Anyway, here it is:

    “I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
    He moved my heart to seek Him, seeking me.
    It was not I who found, oh Savior true!
    No, I was found of thee.

    Thou didst reach forth Thy hand and mine enfold;
    I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea;
    ‘Twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,
    as Thou dear Lord, on me.

    I find, I walk, I love, but oh, the whole
    Of love is but my answer Lord, to Thee!
    For Thou were long beforehand with my soul;
    Always, has Thou loved me.”
    (Author unknown)

    I remember, and I am brought to my knees. Such a humbling thing to know that without Christ, I am nothing, because without Christ, there is no Love. What is the point of living without it?

    I send a hug across the campfire.

     
    • kolembo

      April 5, 2012 at 13:09

      Broad beam from me!

      I can see your little time-outs! The hymn is lovely, and it was good reading your words.

      Ya, the time is here now…it’s almost time.

       

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