Perseverance in Prayer

Taking off of yesterday’s post, considering last night at prayer meeting….

Sometimes when I pray, the Holy Spirit shows up very obviously.  (No, not tongues – I just pray with a lot more power and a LOT more boldness than is “me”).   This happens often in corporate prayer, sometimes when I’m alone.   It is no more likely to happen when I’m fasting than when I’m not, and no more likely to show up when I’m emotional about the subject than when I’m not.  It just happens.  And when it does, it’s AMAZING.  Just… amazing.  It feels wonderful.  If every prayer time could be like that, that … yeah.  Addictive to the Nth.  I *wish* I could call that up – but I can’t.  It’s.Not.Me.

So, when that happens, especially since it’s not “me” doing the praying, I’ve considered the matter handled.  Why should I continue to pester God for something He’s given power to?  That seems rude.

And then I bang up against that parable.  And the way that Paul talked about his own prayer life.  And the admonition to “pray without ceasing”.  -sigh-  I read the story about Daniel, praying and fasting for 20+ days for Israel, and how although the angel was dispatched to chat with him on day 1, it took all that time (and prayer) to get the angel over to Daniel.  It’s very clear – persistent prayer is *important*.  I don’t get to leave off my prayer duties just because the power and passion showed up one day.  Even though I feel ridiculous, having wept on my floor of a Tuesday, just reading off the prayer request on a Wednesday.  My feelings don’t signify.

I find the working of the spiritual world very confusing.  Someone needs to print out a roadmap.  Wait.  No.  Then we go all controlling, which leads to occult stuff.  Yeah.  I know.  I get it.  Blindfolded in a room full of rattlesnakes, we don’t go bumping around.  Bah.  It’s still CONFUSING.  How do our prayers affect God’s sovereign will?   How does this work?????????

It’s all part of this weird lesson.  Patience isn’t just sitting here, waiting for God to do what He said He’d do.  It’s getting up and working toward those goals every day.  Hope and Faith and Trust work together, and Patience and Perseverance work together.   Yesterday was big stuff for me, I’d thought Patience was just sitting there, waiting and trusting and holding still.  But it’s not.  It’s moving forward, even when you’re not getting positive feedback.  Of COURSE it’s important to have prayed and fasted and gotten counsel before you start moving – oy!  If you’re not going to depend on constant happy signs, you’d best know what you’re about, and know that it’s Biblical.  This Christian life business isn’t as cotton candy easy as some folks make it look…

Some part of me doesn’t like this because it gives me too much power, and some part of me doesn’t like this because it relies too daringly upon hope.  I mean, it’s one thing to hope as you sit passively, looking out the window.  It’s another to trust God for the harvest while you’re out in the fields, with no backup plan.  Trusting God to make good out of what I put out there is a terrifying prospect.  Knowing (as I do) that some of that will be harvested in my life, but much may very well not be isn’t a very comfortable thought.  And if I don’t keep knocking, if I don’t keep working… then what I started might not ever come full circle?  No, it’s not a comfortable thought at all.

It’s a very Christian reality though.

1 Corinthians 1: 18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wiseAnd the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”

20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God. 30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Can we be real?  I don’t LIKE it when people think I’m a fool.  I don’t LIKE it when I’m condescended to.  “Oh, she’s so sweet…” I want to have something to show.  I want to have results, I want to have lots of results, and I want them *right now*.   Dude.  I care about my unsaved friends.  I want something to show them, so they can see God’s power in my life.  I want something different… but I’m not different.  I’m part of this culture and I want my stuff now, before they forget … before they write me off.  Before they write God off.   The stakes are so high…

I guess the stakes are too high for me to do this life stuff MY way, because God knows I don’t know what I’m doing.

So, persevering.  Lists.  Daily things.  Waiting on the Lord while out in the fields.  I guess… that’s life.  Ja?

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