Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day Thirteen: Pray it like it is

My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, "When will you comfort me?...How long must your servant wait?"
--Psalm 119:81-82, 84

These are the opening lines of today's section of Psalm 119. I love them, and at the same time they make me want to throw stuff across the room in frustration. Here's why:

I love them because they give me proof that we can pray honestly. The person who wrote these words wasn't stifling his disappointment or making peace with his plight. He was saying, "Look God--I'm doing what you asked me to. I spend all day, every day, looking for you to come through on your promise....until my eyes FAIL. When are you going to come through???" If I'm going to worship and interact with a God, I want him/her/it to be a God I can be real with. I guess it's like any other relationship--it quickly loses steam if I have to be someone I'm not. To me, it's good news that God can handle my prayers, even when they're of the, "HELLO!!! Have you lost my file???" variety.

The throwing stuff across the room part comes from the fact that I have these times at all. Wouldn't it be great if we didn't? If each time we found a new promise in the Bible--abundant provision, for example, or purpose and direction in our lives--we could just press the right buttons on the God computer and order them shipped to our front door?

I was just going to write that the Bible is not a catalog, but then I stopped. Because in a way, it is. It gives us pictures of things we can have if we're willing to pay the price. The thing is, though, the price is our prayers, our faith, our willing to wait for God's timing, rather than insisting on our own. It's expensive, this God life. But the stuff we get after all the praying and hoping and waiting is top-quality, custom built, and made to last.

A few lines later, the writer of Psalm 119 comes to the same conclusion I always do, still wanting God's best rather than something less: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path," he writes. "Accept, O Lord, the willing praise of my mouth and teach me your heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end."

Let's pray that today, honestly, from wherever we are. God can take it!

Here's a fun song that helps me bounce back from the funk of "have you lost my file?" prayers: My God is Good by Fred Hammond. It's a fine reminder :)

Have a great sabbath tomorrow (living like we know our prayers are answered, and the results are on their way) and I'll see you Monday!


Jessie2 said...

This 40 Days "project" has been such a great thing for me! It appeared in my life just when I needed it to.
On that note, I may be MIA for the next week (along with another faithful reader and participant in the 40 Days). We, with some other adults are taking 36 of our youth group kids to church camp! (Not sure how the internet connection will be ther for us.)
So I'm asking for your prayers. Please pray for a safe time for us and that God speaks to us all week. Pray that my kids and I spend a week looking Jesus in the face and praising Him with everything we do. Pray that He breaks us down and then builds us back up.
And then pray for me. I've been hearing God more and more lately and I'm so pumped to spend a week with no distractions only focused on Him.
I thank God everyday for all of you! Have a wonderful week! (sorry for the small novel)

Kim said...

Blessings and safe travels to you Jessie2.

This is powerful stuff, Trish. There are days when I am sure God HAS to be sick of all my whining, groveling and pitiful begging. I feel so selfish. I have my family, health, a home, food to eat, and lots of friends. He has given me so much. And I am happy. Really. But then He also gave me this crazy-against-the-odds dream to be a published author. It is something that I can't do with out His help.

So I have to remember that He said all I need to do is knock and the door will be opened. I have to have faith (the moving mountains kind) that He is taking me down this path for a reason.

"See" you all Monday.

Sarakastic said...

Last Sunday was one of the best Sundays I've had in a really long time, I love the Sunday idea

Liza said...

Wow, what a great post. My friend and I were just talking about waiting on God's time not our own today. We were talking about my prayers and I said I wanted them answered on God's timetable, even if it doesn't match mine.

Larramie said...

Patience is a virtue.

ForstRose said...

Well its been a busy week and relatively good despite a serious lack of sleep. Allergies are on the rampage right now. But otherwise my current paying work has been extended for a while that I thought would end Thursday and I am getting to know some new people at church. I don't like risks and change but there's been an awful of both lately. Trust is fragile as it is but I sometimes think I treat mine as if the slightest bump will shatter it to smithereens so I just don't even go there but risk especially when its something God directs us to requires a significant amount of trust both in Him and in anyone else involved in the circumstances where we take that risk. Thankfully despite my misgivings the risks this week and trusting even the slightest bit though scary has not received the response I expected which would have only contributed to my mistaken self-protection of keeping myself apart from any chance of getting hurt.

Now I just have to get it through my head and live it - that pain may come even when things seem shiny bright and wonderful but without taking the chance on a situation I do not have the opportunities it presents to grow and learn about myself and others.


the teacher said...

this post was perfect! it was exactly what a lot of us need to hear. we need to remind ourselves that we should enjoy more of the relationship we can have with God. he is our best friend. just like our best friends, we can complain and whine to them, but it is not always such a pleasant thing to do... but he still listens.

i just got back from my retreat with my church. i feel AMAZING. i prayed for all of you, during our prayer petitions, and hope that things are going well. i realized this weekend that this blog stuff came at the perfect time. i needed this 40 days. i am sad that my retreat time is over, but look forward to having this everyday for a while. :)so thanks again trish.