Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What I’m Praying – Part 1

I am in a challenging season.  I’m being called to do some new God things, but I am not in a particularly Biblically grounded place these days.  My pastor, who I loved, left to move to a church many states away.  I’ve not connected with the new interim pastor, a situation for which I take full responsibility.  There’s no Beth Moore bible study going on this summer.  I’m not in a church bible study, and I’m not writing one of my own bible studies.  I am largely not being strengthened or renewed in my faith.  Yet I am writing a lot.  And I am going to talk to some folks about possibly publishing this stuff and furthering my ministry/platform to reach today’s professional women.  How can I take that step without God’s guidance and when I am untethered?  My mom had a pretty convicting speech for me yesterday.  I heard every word. 

I had planned to spend more time in the Scripture during these next few weeks to re-ground myself.  But as soon as I was confronted with a situation where I needed some major God guidance and had talked to my mom, I went to one of my most used websites, Bible Gateway, and started pulling scriptures that have meant a great deal to me over the years. 

One of my favorites for several years has been Daniel 9.  You can hear the urgency of Daniel’s prayer as he must have prostrated himself in confession before God - “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong.  We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws,”  he begins.  There is not one iota of pride in this prayer.  There is only a plea for forgiveness and then an urgent request to act, in my favorite passage, “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant.  For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary.  Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name.  We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because  of your great mercy.  O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” 

Can you just sit with that for a minute?  Daniel is begging God to act, not because he or the people of God in any way deserved it.  In fact, they clearly did not.  They were a mess.  He is imploring God because of (a) His mercy, (b) for God’s sake, (c) and because the people bore God’s name.  I am mess.  I am an incredibly fortunate mess though because God will act and use me despite my faithlessness and unrighteousness.  He is merciful, and I bear His name, and He can be glorified through me, despite me.  No matter where you are today, that should give you hope.  No matter what you have done or been through, if you bear His name, He will use you, and your shortcomings, to accomplish His work.  That gives me hope. 

I don’t even want to muddle the power of that message.  Read Daniel 9 for yourself.  Read it a few times.  I plan on it.  I’ll come back Thursday with more of what I’m reading in the Bible this week.  

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