Lisa is “a Christ-worshiper, writer, kitty-mama and wannabe saint (with a long way to go). Trying to stay on the path and appreciate the beauty…with daily thanksgiving. Trying to listen for His song and sing along…and loving every note.”
On “Reimagining How We Pray” Day 1
I do not have all the answers. Right now I don’t even have answers for the pressing questions of my own life. I just finished a degree program and have no idea where God is taking me next—I just know I am in a painful season of waiting. So I find no small irony and humor in offering a post or two on prayer.
As a communicator, I find it tempting to offer the standard solution: something like “A Three-Point Guide to Better Prayer.” But I believe what we need is less of that—the distraction, the bullet-point solution, the quick fix—and more of Jesus. Because what we’re looking for is Christ.
The problem is, we don’t always find Him where we expect to, or where others tell us to.
He once called me to a fast and, being a skinny chick, I thought He was nuts. (Is anybody else with me on this, or am I the only one who finds God’s leading a little, well, unusual at times?) But I knew it was Him, so I obeyed. And through this obedience He blessed me beyond any ability I have to record it here. Do I always know for sure it’s Him?
It’s an inexact science, this walking with God. And I think therein lies the rub.
Our world has become so programmed, so regimented, so scheduled, that I think many of us have lost the ability to lose ourselves in wonder. We expect God to fit neatly into our schedules even as we expect Him to fit neatly into our theories. We have become so adept at explaining every last detail about how a seed germinates (thank you, scientific method, you do have validity), that we have lost the ability to embrace the wonder and mystery of that new life breaking through the dirt, shaking off the shell of its old self.
Mystery is rash and it is unexplainable and it is wild and it is frightening.
I don’t know about you, but mostly I like my frightening moments to be, well…safe. The outcome, guaranteed. I love to ride the roller coaster as long as I know it’s been checked by competent mechanics. I thrill to extreme sports as long as the person on the mountain bike knows just how to plunge down that steep trail without wiping out. I love the idea of a wild God who will come through in a desperate moment…but please don’t ask ME to be the one between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea. I’d rather read about it later, thank you, from the comfort of my living room.
But God is not safe, and He does not conform. The Bible proves it. He is wild and He is reckless, and if I want to see Him come through in a radical way, in a personal way—and I do—then I’m the one who must radically trust Him as I careen right through the middle of my worst-ever crisis of faith. I must say yes to His presence and His intervention even when I want to scream no to the pain of it.
This is not comfortable. In fact, in my experience, this is never comfortable.
About now I hear you asking, “Nice, Lisa, but what does all of this have to do with prayer?”
I’ll answer that tomorrow.