Sometimes I think I am repeating myself – sometimes I know I am and the niggly worry that I am getting boring pokes its head and niggles. But as I read Philippians 3 I thought ‘Paul does it too, must be ok.’ I guess when something grips us then we talk about it – a lot which is obvious if you look at TV, newspapers, magazines, social media – we talk about what we are passionate about.
Anyway, this is what Paul says:
It is time that I wrap up these thoughts to you, my brothers and sisters. Rejoice in the Lord! (I don’t mind writing these things over and over to you, as I know it keeps you safe.)
Do I consider myself on a par with Paul? Nope, long way to go. Do I know that the same Spirit that produced Paul is working in me? Yes, absolutely so if He reminds me of something I am not ashamed to share it because perhaps it will help someone else. That said on to my point.
I have 4 people whom I pray for daily, their names are written on a paper in my bible where I will see them every day as I follow my reading plan. After Proverbs and before the Psalm to be precise (It should be the other way round but I always like to end my reading with the Psalm). To be perfectly honest sometimes, the longer I did it – it started to feel a bit humdrum, I mean how do I pray something different for them every day? My mind is finite and runs out of ideas. So when I pray the same thing every day I worry that it’s not good enough, not effective, not doing the job and so it becomes a chore rather than a joy.
God’s not in the business of giving me chores. I am to rejoice, rejoice, rejoice. Paul’s letter here is all about joy so somewhere between Word and my heart, there’s a disconnect. But I have persevered and God has been faithful. I did the ‘chore’ not understanding clearly how it is supposed to work, pushing to find new ways of praying, being faithful and wondering how long I could carry on. maybe you’ve been there too? Been in that place where you KNOW God has called you but you don’t see the joy anymore and wonder how you are going to carry on.
Earlier this week I had a revelation, the word privilege popped into my thinking. It’s a privilege for me to pray for these people. I’m not doing them a favour, I’m not responsible for them being successful, I’m not carrying the burden for them continuing along their paths. My prayers are an outpouring of my and God’s love. He and I are in this thing together – can you read that again and ponder those words. It is His work and He lets me partner with Him. He lets me get involved in the wonderful, astounding things He is doing as if I am a part of them. As if I make a difference.
Trust me when I say that since I have approached those few minutes of prayer from that point of view those prayers have changed radically.
God is good. All the time, in every way He is good. He is good not just to me, not just in this but in everything. He can and will do the same for you.