Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Let’s Get Real

Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein once wrote the “Prayer of the Selfish Child”:

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep,

And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my toys to break,

 So none of the other kids can use ’em. Amen.”

Some of us are like compliant children when it comes to our prayer life, i.e. we pray for only what we think we “ought” to pray for.  We pray for a cure for terminal diseases, the end of poverty and an ample supply of food and water for all of humanity.  We pray for our sick relatives and occasionally that God would deal with the difficult people in our lives – who shall remain nameless.  All those things which we think would be pleasing to the Lord.

John Ortberg, author of The Me I Want to Be, suggests that it would be better if we prayed what is in us and not what we wish were in us.  Now that could get ugly, I’d never want God to know what I really wish for and what I am thinking.

How dumb is that?  This is the same God of whom it is said that He knows the number of hairs on the heads of each of His people, that a sparrow would not fall to the earth without His foreknowledge and that He knows the name of every star.

Not only does God want us to be honest and real in our prayer life but I think He wants us to be transparent, open and honest with our lives in general. One would hope that the body of Christ would be a place where we would be most comfortable being ourselves but to the contrary.   The reality is that we don’t want people in our church to know that one of our kids is failing in school.  We would never want our friends to know that as a couple we are at each other’s throats.  We wouldn’t think of admitting that money is our master and that we have accumulated significant debt.  After all we church people are perfect!

Wouldn’t it be great if we could restore an Acts 2 environment where brothers and sisters in Christ cared deeply for one another?

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