I’m groaning. Paul called it “groans of prayers.” Prayers that come from a place of deep desire, of angst. Angst because I’m forcing my passion to submit. Submit; submit to the work of the Holy Spirit, the timing of a loving, all-knowing Father, the salvation of the Son. I submit my earnestness to God. And while I pray I come to understand what of Paul meant to “contend for the faith.” To contend for the faith is not to voice every opinion I have or even share my angst with others, but to seek to know God’s will; to support the work God is already doing, the making of an artful, beautiful work of a Jesus-centered life. It is His creation, not my project. It takes God’s timing, not my agenda or pious strategy.
For, if my passion were unleashed in words and actions, they would run roughshod over those I love. Damaging them. Pushing them in damaging ways. I know, because I have done this many times. Because assessing human character, spiritual weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and knowing right from wrong, is easy compared to the discipleship of a Christ-centered life. The creation of a righteous life is the delicate, nuanced, work of God. He is the master creator. God, our Abba Father, is Love, is fully Present, and has the Heart to die and live for the salvation of a life.
And so I pray. My role in his art-piece is also a delicate work. If I’m not careful, attentive, then my sloppy words or actions might make His work more difficult. I need to align my love, my heart to His.
My prayers hold groans for specific people. They are angst-filled whispers for purposes to be sought after, fought after, and found first by aligning to God, for sin always creates Master-confusion and a divided house. I pray for tenderness and unity to be the goal of ordinary marriage choices, and that that would first be experienced in pursuing a relationship to God. I pray for wisdom for parents who are picking up shattered emotions that they didn’t create, so they can recreate a life in Christ. I pray for the legalist to submit their confident knowledge to the compassion and perfect timing of Sovereignty. I pray for hearts to submit to the Holy Spirit in matters of relationship so truth takes God’s time and love is delivered without judgement or fear or misguided passion. I pray for the Church to welcome the Easter-saved, thanking Him, amazed, that we are His hands and feet. I need these prayers. They teach me. They free me. And I cheer for the “art” Abba is doing, in me, in others.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4: 6,7
All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you - that’s the agenda for rejoicing.