Tuesday, August 3, 2010

prayer of restless angst

there are some times where something will hit my heart, and whatever i'm doing doesn't feel right. i often don't know what to do in those moments. this is one of those moments. i'm torn between writing down my thoughts and prayer, so i figure i'll do them both. feel free to join with me in wrestling.

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God, as casey and i were sitting here playing cards and listening to songs, "God of this city" came on, and after a minute or so of just tapping my foot to the good musid, my mind was grabbed by the lyrics. i was taken back to last spring, where 50 or so of my brothers and sisters were gathered in a dinky little apartment in north philly, singing with hearts full for Your glory to fill that place. we burned for You, and yet how quickly those flames can die down. yet You never let them go out. more than that, You freely bring that passion back to us; how great is Your grace to poor sinners like me! but God, i know not what to do with this passion that burns in my heart. this card game, being able to sit with my wife and enjoy some music and each others company, it is so nice, and it is a gift from You, and i want to receive it with thanksgiving, as You have instructed me to. yet i feel no peace about it now, for i long to see You own this place, where there are so many who know the name "jesus" but do not know Your Name. this culture is full of "church-ianity" as my brother once called it, and many hear seem inoculated to You and the glory of Your gospel. and even among my friends who i play poker with, and hang out in bars with, though i rejoice at being able to talk with them about You, yet they seem so unmoved! God, i would that Your power be made known in this place. my heavenly King, bring Your kingdom in greater fullness here, that Your Name might be known and praised among these people!

God, thank you for calming my spirit some, knowing that You will do what is right in Your eyes. yet You call for and expect our prayers, so i beg you for this area, for those at the trailer park tonight, for the members of this, Your church, and for those who hear Your Name on my lips. o God, may it ever be on my lips, that You are never far from my thoughts or my speech. show me my part to play, o Lord, and give me the strength to see it through. God, i feel so weak, and rightly i should, for i am. but Your Word says that in weakness is Your strength shown to be perfect, and so i offer You my all, weak and puny though it may be, and beg You to move through me. Lord, i would that You would even move in spite of me, for i am not as i ought to be, nor act i as i ought, but You, my God, are the one who talks the low and the things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are. would You use me, in spite of my mind, which gets in the way so often, and my heart, which stumbles over itself, and my strength, which is very small and often consumed by laziness, and my soul, which grows weary so quickly.

God, i mean to be faithful to where You have called me. help me not to wonder what it would be like to answer some "more glorious" or "more epic" call, but to wonder still that You have entrusted this ministry to me, and though it may seem small, You care very much for these, Your children, and Your children's children. Be at work in them, and if it be Your gracious will, to use me in the process, that they might know You more fully, and be transformed by Your Word and Your ways, that they might look more like Your Son, and praise You all the more, because they see You more like You are, then the tiny bit they, and even we, see now. grow them for Your Name's sake, o Christ, that through You they might bow at the Father's feet, and be the objects of His love, and that they might display how great that love is, even as You did. be with me, Dad, for i am frail, and my heart is fickle, and i need You desperately. help me to rest in You, and take comfort in Your sovereign will, and hope against hope because You who have promised so much good are the One called Faithful and True. blessed be Your Name.

thank You for being with me. thank You for letting me know You. thank You that even though i type these words into a computer, yet You hear them in heaven, because You are near me, and because Jesus is my great High Priest, and perfect Mediator as the God-man. thank You for the cross, through which i can approach Your throne of grace with confidence and courage, knowing You will give me all that is good for me. i rest in Your care. thank You for hearing me for the sake of Your Son.

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