This quote from Oswald Chambers has been messing with me lately:
Prayer does not equip us for greater works— prayer is the greater work.
Prayer is the greater work.
Not talking about it more with my girlfriends.
Not analyzing it to death.
Not trying harder, or working smarter, or staying ahead of all the options.
Prayer isn’t that thing I check off my to-do list before I go accomplish the great stuff. The great stuff happens when I am praying.
Jesus set this example over and over again. He prayed with His disciples. He prayed in front of massive crowds. He withdrew to quiet places and prayed. Moments before His betrayal and arrest, He was entrenched in one of the most desperate prayers of His earthly life.
Jesus wanted to pray because He desperately wanted to talk with His Dad. His prayers were not some pompous example of speaking really lofting things…this was His Father. And He knew to the very core of His being this one thing: His Father was listening.
I want to pray more.
I want to pray more because my Father, who loves me as His daughter, is listening to me. He has extended an open invitation to approach Him, to come to Him, to pour out my heart to Him. And by accepting that invitation, I have a holy conversation…with God. THAT is where the great stuff happens. Not in my accomplishments, or my check lists, or my five-year plan.
The great stuff happens when I’m on my knees praying my heart out for my daughter, instead of worrying about her future. The great stuff happens when I’m in the middle of a tough conversation with a hurting friend and I beg God to give me supernatural wisdom. The great stuff happens when I tell Him my worries and fears and He replaces them with truth and peace.
I need to remember that. God help me remember that. Help me remember that you.are.right.there. Always.
But I forget. I forget that He wants to give me truth and wisdom. So I take matters into my own hands and try to work it out and prove that I can handle it. If I could just do it “right enough” then I would be “good enough”. That ugly lie needs to die.
Prayer. It strips away the lie, bringing me back to Truth Himself. The Truth that assures me that He loves me, just as I am. The Truth that says “come to Me, and you will find rest for your soul”. The Truth that sets me free.
My amazing friend, Lisa Williams, recently told me God gave her three very specific words regarding prayer:
Imperative. Important. And Paramount.
Prayer is imperative, important and paramount. Prayer is the greater work.
What if we really believed that? What if today, instead of taking it all on yourself, you prayed?
What if instead of just trying harder, you believed to the depths of your being this one thing: your Father is listening. He is listening, and He sees you right there, in this moment, doing your amazing, beautiful and ridiculously challenging life. He knows you have a to-do list, He knows you have a five-year plan. He knows what makes you laugh, and what brings you joy. He sees your hurting and shattered heart. He sees you.
For God so loved…
Yes. I know, it’s all just crazy. Without a doubt, there is so much going on. SO much that does not make a drop of sense. I find myself saying the phrase “I don’t understand that” a lot. But instead of trying to untangle all those unknown knots, I have GOT to bring it to Him. I desperately want my internal reaction to change from “I gotta figure it out” to “Oh, Lord, we have got to talk about this”.
Prayer is the greater work.
Oh, Lord, help me remember that today.
“Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your soul.'” Matthew 11:28-29