Necessary and Sufficient

50:26 Write about a thing of which you are thankful.

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Prayer does not have to be eloquent or even in full sentences or complete thoughts.

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words, and He who searches the heart knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27

Prayer is a blessing tenfold, if you let the Lord do the heavy lifting.

Even when you don’t know or comprehend the desires of your heart, you feel them, and the Spirit knows the truth and will intercede for you if you but ask.

Think of the times despair has threatened to overwhelm you, with fear and doubt pressing hard at your shell of self-control. Rather than squash it down and soldier on, release it without words, or words if you have them, to God; let the Spirit intercede for you, give your angst to Him because the King of glory will help.

It does get easier with time, as conversation with God becomes as necessary to your continued existence as every breath you take. Pray is no longer about releasing words into space, but about having conversation, a relationship with your Creator. And when the Spirit of God speaks, you know, it’s not a mystery. He wants you to know.

Prayer has been a huge stumbling block for all but the past year of my Christian walk. There were church activities and groups in which I would have liked to participate, but I avoided for the fear of being asked to publicly pray. I still do not anticipate enjoying the act of publicly praying, however it is no longer a crippling fear, because of the relationship the Lord has been cultivating with me over the last difficult year.

And speaking of crippling fear, perhaps because of my abundance of auto-immune diseases, added to the fact that I was so very ill with an acute bronchial virus for the better part of March and April, and in truth am still not fully over it where my lungs are concerned, the virus crisis has unreasonable terrified me.

And unfortunately just when I assume that I have conquered the beast, I stumble and make an error of judgment when I am out making my nightly work run to pick up and deliver paper work, and then wham slam the panic is back, and without the gift of prayer to release my anxiety, without the Lord holding me close, endless sleepless nights would be my way of life. I can only praise and thank Him for His perfect timing in teaching me how to pray and cling, trust and obey, rely and rest, in Him.

Sigh…I keep meaning to end and then I think of just one more thing I want to say, so as usual I ramble on without a single focus.

What I felt needed to be said is that, it took the surfacing of a buried truth that I felt unworthy, and thus unworthy of having God listen to my prayers. For even though in my head I believed He forgave me, because I was not willing to forgive myself, my trust in His forgiveness never reached my heart.

I think because it is easier to excuse yourself if you can make yourself the victim of circumstances and thus not take responsibility for your actions or have to move on, I was residing in the status of perpetual victim. The state of being too ill to be diligent about anything, the state of being a victim of neglect so harboring smoldering unreconciled anger, and the woe is me fall-out of a marriage gone bad, financially abandoned, with many children to support.

But until I was willing to accept my participation in each of the above, and many more not listed, and give up my victim status and take full responsibility for my actions, I could not place my sins before the Lord, to let go of them and the anger, only then was I truly able to ask for, and accept, His forgiveness of my wicked carelessness of the life He has given me.

O Lord, You are wonderful, You released me from the hold of darkness, I am clean and whole in Your sight! This blessed reality has enabled me to not only forgive myself, but others, wholly and unconditionally. What a joy! What peace! What lovingkindess!

Ironically, it took me setting out in faith and obedience to pray, even when I didn’t think it was much more than talking to myself, which led to His talking back, (which I admit the first time scared me half to death, I thought I might be going crazy) and then time after time the display of His care and protection was so evident, I started intentionally seeking Him out for everything under the sun, and cannot imagine life without Him by my side.

All to the Glory of my Lord and my God, my Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.

 

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What is Sufficient?

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It was eye opening for me to realize how privilege can work itself out, sometimes it is not about what you have, but what you don’t have that can make one privileged.

I had a racially diverse extended family growing up and never gave it a second thought until a cousin pointed out their mixed parentage, and the fact that even though they were very financially flush, they had not been able move to the suburbs until a new housing development was built with the sole intent of creating a diverse neighborhood.

We were poor, but we were white so we lived without having to give a second thought to the color of our skin. That is a privilege for sure, but not one I have any control over anymore than someone can control being born black and excluded.

However, I stand firm on the fact that I can be in a privileged class, lacking true understanding of the depth of difficulty of being non-white, without being a racist, and sometimes I think this is where communication breaks down for many.

It will be impossible to find common ground, a place of listening to each other, a place of healing, a place to merge such divergent world views and experiences, if one holds to the vilification and exclusion of whites from the process.

Blacks are justifiably angry over mistreatment, but the labeling of whites as an enemy because of the color of their skin doesn’t fix anything in the long run. It only gives fuel to the bigots to feel justified of their feelings of being exclusive in the first place, and thus dig in their heels in self righteousness.

Then as a society we are five steps back beyond the hope of a world where one could be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

In Christ,

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