fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Desert Prayers

Desert Prayers by Julie McAllen

Today is the national day of prayer. I don’t really recognize this day by doing anything different, it’s just another day of prayer as usual for me. I follow a prayer schedule for the most part and the day I pray for the nation’s leaders is Wednesday, sorry fellas, missed it by a day.

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This morning, I was praying through my Thursday list.

Recently I asked a friend to pray for me because I was experiencing a dry season. Have you ever had one of those? A sense of disconnect with God? Duty and no intimacy? I’ve had ’em  before, and I’m sure I’ll have ’em again. This is known as “the desert.”

When this happens, my first reaction is to assume it’s me. And I ask God if I’ve sinned somewhere or if  something is out of line with us. I guess that’s a good thing to ask as David even prayed “search me” to discern if there be any wicked way in him.
(Psalm 139:23-24)

I’ve come to discover that a relationship with God can be compared with other relationships. Two people can be committed to one another in marriage and have done nothing wrong, yet just get stale as any routine can. When that happens, they usually try something different. Maybe go on a trip? I make prayer pretty much a daily habit, but still find there’s no harm in shaking up the routine so that it doesn’t become just that… mere routine.

Today, on May 2, which also happens to be the national day of prayer, I have been “dutiful” but not feeling very intimate with God. I’ve even been asking Him why and if today He could “please show up and touch me.”

I had a nice, undistracted morning of prayer, and I did sense His presence and peace with me. But later, as I was reading one of my devotionals , I was blessed to know desert prayers are honored by God. I was reading from “A Year with C.S. Lewis, daily readings from his classic works.” Today’s selection was from the Screwtape Letters and it really blessed me right where I’m at. If you’re not familiar with this book, Screwtape is a demon giving advice to a fellow demon, Wormwood, so the “enemy” being spoken of is God and the “creatures” are Christians.

May 2
…And Still Obeys
Screwtape elaborates on the Enemy’s intentions:
Merely to override a human will (as His felt presence in any but the faintest and most
mitigated degree would certainly do) would be for Him useless. He cannot ravish.
He can only woo. For His ignoble idea is to eat the cake and have it; the
creatures are to be one with Him, but yet themselves; merely to cancel them, or
assimilate them, will not serve. He is prepared to do a little overriding at the
beginning. He will set them off with communications of His presence which,
though faint, seem great to them, with emotional sweetness, and easy conquest
over temptation. But He never allows this state of affairs to last long. Sooner
or later He withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscious experience,
all those supports and incentives. He leaves the creature to stand up on its own
legs — to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It
is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods, that it
is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers
offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best…. He cannot ‘tempt’
to virtue as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore
take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased
even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more
in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our
Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to
have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.
The Screwtape Letters

I really feel good about praying every day, even if I don’t “feel” God sometimes.

Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie

May 2, 2013 Posted by | According to Scripture, Expressions | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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