“O God, you are my God—earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for You as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Ps 63:1)
Hear my voice, O God… (Ps 64:1a)
Blessed is the one You choose and bring near to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, the holiness of Your temple. (Ps 65:4)
What do these references have in common? They are intense and earnest cries to God; they are modeling EARNEST prayer.
There is an unexplored region of communication concerning God that I fail at (and perhaps most of these readers do as well) and that is that murky area between Praise and Asking/Supplication (asking for stuff to happen).
When was the last moment I spent time in this “murky area” of prayer—acknowledging Him and His magnificence, His majesty, His Mercy, Grace, Omniscience, etc.—all of His Attributes and how they affect me? How much time do I give in prayer about how merciful He is to me, an undeserving wretch of a person compared to Him?
A lot of folks get offended when I speak like this. I don’t know why. If I read the Scriptures it is pretty clear the extent of His Mercy and Grace is given to Man (who is undeserved of his Mercy and Grace). I have a value before God because He chose to value me, not that I have inherent value—after all, I am a traitor, from a long line of traitors beginning with GGG’dad Adam.
So why wouldn’t I earnestly seek Him with emphasis on the earnestly? Why wouldn’t I call blessed the One who chose to bring me near? Why wouldn’t I call on God to hear my voice when He, because He is Almighty God, doesn’t have to unless He chose to hear me?
Why wouldn’t I hang my head in shame when I consider that the God of all Creation, the One who is Holy and Perfect, no fault in Him whatsoever, was humiliated, beaten, disrespected, and gave His life for me—a guy who doubtless would have been in the crowd calling for His death? And I probably act like that every day in multiple ways even today.
So what do I need to change? Candidly I need these changes (no in any particular order):
I need to cultivate a frank honesty about myself before God. How do I do that? I could give a number of “christian” or “religious” words but here is a suggestion: figure out how shameful I am towards God and humbly give thanks—if approaching God like this doesn’t prompt me to shed a tear or two at times, is my heart becoming hard? I think so…
Earnest prayer also needs to be cultivated. “Earnest” isn’t something I usually exhibit. Lackadaisical, lazy, superficial has been more my style lately.
Paul told Timothy to let folks see his progress in the faith. Fair enough. But if my prayers in public are more demonstrative and intense than my prayers in private something is wrong, very wrong. Be aware.
By the way: avoid fakey. Doesn’t do anyone good.
Considering all the turmoil that has been happening lately, Lord, I am surprised I could even write this. When either protecting myself by drawing inward or lashing out in any degree of anger being transparent is a difficult exercise to do. I appreciate the grace You give to open me up like a can of worms. Have mercy on me O God. Have mercy on the situation that You are well aware of. AMEN