An Honest Prayer
29 March 2010
Today’s Reading: Judges 6-7; Psalm 17; 1 Corinthians 14
Listen while I build my case, God, the most honest prayer you’ll ever hear. (Psalm 17:1 MSG)
How often do my prayers come from a heart that’s thinking, “How am I supposed to say this? What should I feel about this? How should I be thinking? As a Leader, Dad, Christian (Insert your role here), what should I do?” How much of my praying is “should do, should be” praying? How much of my teaching is “should do, should be” teaching? How much of my life as a Christ-follower is “should do, should be” living?
Leaders with a strong leadership gift seldom have to think, “As a leader, what should I do now?” They don’t have to think about leadership next steps because it’s a gift in them, it just comes naturally. For me, when I’m in an organizational leadership role, I sometimes must remind myself to think about what I “should do” next.
However, when I’m teaching, or encouraging, or involved in conflict resolution, or helping someone get a clear picture of a situation or set of issues so they can think and act wisely, or when I’m in a creative discussion seeking practical wisdom, I don’t strain at all. It’s my gift. It just flows out of an honest heart.
Too much working out of a role definition and living the Christian life in a “should do, should be” manner makes my relationship with God cease to be a Father-child relationship and become a boss-employee relationship. My work stops being a joy and becomes a grind. My prayers cease to be in-the-moment expressions of an honest heart and become unsatisfying attempts to pray what I should pray, feel what I should feel, and do what I should do.
I’m re-learning that God has not called me to do poorly at the “should do” requirements of a role. God has called me to do well at the things that flow out of an honest heart – things which, in the doing, bring joy to him and to me and bring blessing to others!
Father, When I watch Buddy the Dog run in the desert, I feel joy because I see him joyfully doing what you created him to do. Help me learn how to do what you have created me to do, to do it out of an honest heart, to do it with joy. May you enjoy watching me live for you much as I enjoy watching Buddy run. Amen.