June 16, 2011

24/7 Prayer Challenge - My Second Night

Yesterday, when I went up to the church for my hour in the prayer vigil, I got to speak to Mindy, one of the church's co-Pastors for a few moments before starting. This morning I got to meet and speak a bit more with her husband Robert, the other co-Pastor. I've got to start forcing myself to drink some extra coffee in the late hours of my Saturday night shift and get back up there on Sunday mornings. I believe there is some very good work going on and some new exciting things that I need to be a part of.

My prayers and experience this morning were very different this morning than yesterday. I opened my Bible to Proverbs for some inspiration and went immediately to the bookmarks I had in chapters 2 and 9.

          1 My son, if you will receive my words and treasure my commandments within you,          
          2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 
          3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 
          4 If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; 
          5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. 
          6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:1-6, NASB

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, And if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
Proverbs 9:10-12, NASB

After a few minutes praying for my friends and loved ones, I set my heart to ask for His wisdom and guidance, keeping these verses in mind. I think that wisdom and maturity is a very important part of my prayers, especially in the things that happen inside of my heart.

First off, I have to remember that my time spent in prayer isn't always going to feel special and wonderful. Sometimes it feels like God isn't listening, and sometimes it feels like I'm not speaking clearly. Either way, I'm left feeling alone and unheard, although that really isn't the case. The wisdom I have to take to heart is that my feelings are just that and nothing more; feelings, not beings, and that they may not accurately reflect the truth of the situation. At that point it's my duty to trust, wait, and keep praying.

Most of us know that holding our tongues is a wise thing in many situations with other people (and on this point, you might question whether or not I have wisdom.) But, I've found that it can be a wise thing when approaching God. My favorite book of the Bible is Ecclesiastes, and the first three verses of chapter 5 have always spoken to my heart.
 1 [a]Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. 2 [b]Do not be hasty [c]in word or [d]impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. 3 For the dream comes through much [e]effort and the voice of a fool through many words.

Sometimes (probably more times than I think), I need nothing more than to sit in worshipful silence; to just be still and know that He is God, if you will. I spent about twenty minutes doing just that this morning, and it left me with a powerful knowledge of my place, His place, and the vast difference between the two.

At that point, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, so I returned to reading my Bible and offering prayers of thanks to Him for what He has done and whom He has brought into my life. Being at the end of my hour, Robert came back in to finish the nighttime vigil until the morning's participants arrived. We spoke for a few moments before I left, and I returned home in silence. Not just in the car, but also in my mind. No internal dialogue, no outline for this post, just the quiet stillness and the knowledge the He is God. A quiet of such a level that I have had to work at finding the words for this post, instead of it flowing easily to the keyboard.

I'm left with humility. Not the humiliation of my sins, but the humility of having a glimpse of the vast gulf that separates God and I, and gratitude that He allows me to approach His throne through the sacrifice of His son.

I don't think I will be speaking many words today.

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