Spiritual Discipline // PRAYER
Our cat is a skeptic and a cynic by nature. She is always at DEFCON-5, ready to pounce, unable to fully let her guard down. And she’s always NONPLUSSED. Here she is, curled up next to me-of her own volition-yet still expressing a measure of contempt and suspicion. Shortly after this picture was taken, I (Donia) moved like a millimeter and she resultantly jumped up in fear and skitterted off in a huff.
We’ve lived with Woz for seven years now: feeding, petting and caring for her, yet she still lives in a constant state of poised panic. Nothing has ever happened to her, but she takes the posture of one abused. I’ve opened the door for her a thousand and one times and every single time she leaps through as if her tail gets caught with regularity. Woz doesn’t trust.
These past few weeks we’ve been talking about the prayer life of Nehemiah-how it undergirded his ability to embrace a difficult assignment. Prayer breeds trust in God. It’s one of the reasons prayer is so vitally important to our relationship with God. Prayer ushers in trust, prayer cultivates trust, prayer expresses trust (even if your prayer is simply confessing your doubt!). Prayer IS trust because when we pray we choose to include an unseen God, admitting his existence and preeminence in a world that we CAN see.
When we lack trust in God we tend to turn to our surroundings: our governmental system (as Isaac has been talking about), food, distraction, other people (who will fail at some point, as no one is perfect). When our prayer life stalls we turn to gossip and fretting. We were created to trust God, but the first sin was inaugurated by a fundamental lack of trust in him (Gen. 3:1-6). We become nonplussed with our leaders, cagey with our friends, suspicious of anyone who doesn’t think like we do.
In other words, we become cat-like.
- Read Ephesians 2:12-16.
- Thank God for his plan of redemption.
- Pray for peace and to be a peacemaker.
- Invite God into your midst and into your troubles.