“A life focused on vulnerable prayers fulfills the great command of loving God and being loved.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 25, 2022
And the Lord said unto him [Ananias], Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prays. Acts 9:11
Paul’s experience with the Lord Jesus was the opposite of the blind beggar Jesus healed. The poor beggar was blind, and Jesus made him see…the affluent beggar Paul, could see and Jesus made him blind. Maybe for the first time in his life, Paul felt exposed, helpless…vulnerable. Once he was struck blind, he called out a desperate prayer, “Who are you, Lord?” The Christian persecutor suddenly converted to a Christian sympathizer, blind to the Lord and unable to see God’s new plan for his life. God answered Paul’s vulnerable prayer by sending Ananias, a faithful disciple to be the Lord’s instrument of healing for Paul to see…to see that he was to suffer for the sake of the gospel of Christ. Paul’s felt need for God was so striking that he prayed…vulnerable prayers.
My wife Rita shared with me an affirmation for women that states so beautifully the highly esteemed labor of love many mothers with a heart of service and vulnerable prayers experience:
“Women, especially women with young children at home, often find it hard to believe that they are truly playing an irreplaceable role in a great adventure. Changing dirty diapers, cooking, and trying to figure out how to discipline unruly children hardly qualify for the adventures we dream of having and the parts we long to play. Consider, however, God’s view of the Larger Story, which is a much clearer view than our own. These acts of love and sacrifices of time and energy are of inexpressible importance. Every relationship, every child, and every day is carefully crafted and given to you by a God who loves you, who believes in your strength to handle what comes, and who longs to walk the road with you. Walking the road set before you with your Creator is a great adventure!” (Quote from the Wellspring Group)
Indeed, an adventure of a mother’s love, supported by vulnerable prayers to her heavenly Father!
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God”? (1 Corinthians 6:19).
You may find yourself in a stressful situation, even in crisis mode…here in this vulnerable moment, out of your raw feelings of desperation, cry out to Christ with authentic words from the heart. Or, don’t say anything, as the inner groanings of the Spirit can be your emissary to get to God… access to perfect, infinite love is close by. How convenient that your body is a “house of prayer” …the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). If your house of prayer is in disarray due to hurriedness and other competitors to Christ, just as Jesus drove out the money-hungry from the Temple, invite the Spirit to cleanse you of hyperactivity for the purpose of your temple—prayer. A life focused on vulnerable prayers fulfills the great command of loving God and being loved.
Like Saul, lean into the seasoned prayer and helpful instruction from a mature follower of Jesus, like Ananias. The Lord will use another in your life to help you better understand your hidden life in Christ, which brings healing, a healthy perspective, and the filling of the Holy Spirit. Christians can be blind to God’s best by settling for salvation by grace through faith and miss the abundant life that requires working out their salvation. It’s like owning a beautiful home with adequate fire insurance, but the outside of the house lacks the beautiful landscaping of trees, luscious green vegetation, and brilliant multi-colored flowers and the inside of the house sits empty of furniture and vibrant relationships oozing with love. Your vulnerable prayers will beautify your life inside and out, with the rooms of your being…furnished with the fruit of the Spirit, accessible by the foyer of your love. Prayer is the Lord’s way to grow your life like Jesus Christ!
“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).
Heavenly Father, keep my prayers real and raw as I process pain, celebrate recovery, and seek wisdom to do your will, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Consider having two or three prayer partners for you to support each other when encountering life issues. Maybe meet in person once or twice a month to pray together.
Matthew 6:5-8; Hebrews 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 John 5:14-15
The McClures: I Belong to Jesus
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