Okay – last time I posted here, I was in a bit of a dry spell. Since then, I’ve honestly had so much that I really don’t know where to begin!
Last week I had the opportunity to go to the Creative Church Conference – C3. This is really designed for pastors and church leadership, but a couple of friends were going, and I got a great discount as a pastor’s wife, so I went. W-O-W. The encouragement of the pastors who spoke was amazing. I think as a pastor’s wife, I tend to try to run. Not from the ministry, not from the church, not from Jeremy. It’s just the title. I mean, a lot of people think I’m extra, super spiritual because I’m the “pastor’s wife.” I get a lot of questions about where things are in the Bible and what Bible verses mean. I usually look like a deer caught in the headlights (which, I’ve never seen, actually) and try to find a way to answer gracefully and vaguely. I’ve learned and know a lot about the Bible when I sit and think about it, but those questions just make me want to pee my pants. Now, let me refocus…
Bil Cornelius of Bay Area Fellowship in Corpus Christi spoke on prayer. His focus was Haggai 2:1-9. He has felt the need to pray, has accepted the challenge, and shared with his church. He shared that he first made a 100 hour committment. (I hope I haven’t butchered this too much. Bil or Jessica, if you stumble on it and I have, please tell me!) After the first hour he found himself getting to world peace, ending world hunger, you know, the places we all go after a while. He said he cried out, “I’m done. What more is there? What do you want? I don’t have anything else.” He sensed God saying, “finally! I thought you’d never shut up.” Prayer is about listening to God, too.
Prayer has been on my heart a lot lately. It appeared in a study a couple of weeks ago, and I felt convicted that I don’t pray enough. I didn’t stop and take action. Admittedly, I’m one of those pray-ers that falls asleep at night praying. Honestly, and we’re talking frank here, like, I feel sick admitting this – I’ve had the thought when I couldn’t sleep at night that I might as well pray because then I know I’ll fall asleep. Gee, I want to puke just admitting that.
So, I returned, and what was the focus of my Discipleship Essentials study this week – prayer. This whole repetition thing that God keeps giving me is getting a little weird. Let’s call it the Holy Spirit moving and convicting me :). Flat out – I do not pray like I should. I do the puny prayers – for my family, some requests that I remember – but no the all out conversation with God that I should since I am His child. And, I’m taking action this time.
I’ve been so frustrated with Hudson lately. He won’t make requests of me. He states the obvious, “Mom, I’m thirsty.” When I prod him to make it a question, I get mumbling and passive-aggressiveness. I’ve been at my wit’s end. I just want him to talk to me. To tell me more than his needs. I want to serve him and have him let me tell him how much I love him. Today as I held him in his bed after we had a looooong stand off with much screaming (all on his part, I’m glad to say I stayed calm and kind through the whole ordeal), it hit me that God feels the same way. He wants to talk to me – with me.
Discipleship Essentials gave the acronym ACTS for prayer (I believe my pastor has, too). Adore – adore God for who He is apart from what He has done. God, you are my Savior, my Provider, you are Almighty. Confess – confess my sins. God, I am harboring ill feelings and anger toward a sister in Christ. Thanksgiving – give God thanks for what He has done, be specific. God, thank you that my children are well. Thank you for giving me confidence in You and a boldness that I have not felt in my life to this point. Supplication – ask God to meet specific needs in your life. God, I pray that you give me rest tonight. I pray that I would glorify you as I serve my husband and children and as I teach tomorrow morning.
I think this is where I also admit that I haven’t used running for time with God like I used to. I used to have some rocking times with God as I prayed – including praise and adoration – and ran with God. I’ve allowed my desires for some fun music and mindlessness to creep in. Maybe that’s part of my losing passion for running. Can I tell you I’m looking forward to my next run to do some ACTS? Maybe that 13.1 miles that’s staring me in the face on Saturday will give me some good time with my Savior! (beyond, God, just help me finish!)
I’m starting a journey. I will spend 30 minutes a day in prayer. This won’t be in my bed – it may be running, it may be in my car, but it will be with concentrated effort on my Lord and using the pattern of ACTS so that it’s about more than just me. Feel free to hold me accountable. I’m using the timer on my watch to keep me honest.