4th day to PRAY for 2015!

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in A Community, A Story, Blog | 0 comments

I am not doing this on purpose, I promise! I am talking about the “P” thing that has been going on in these prayers for 2015! It just keeps happening! So far, we have prayed into the words – purpose, perspective, position and posture! I ended the last prayer with a word from Henri Nouwen and his prescription for living with “open hands.” In his closing prayer, he spoke of this posture coming from the word “trust.” Trusting Father as we stand at the beginning of this new year with “open hands!”

Not an easy word to get your arms around – “trust.” So, I was reminded of another friend, Brennan Manning and his book Ruthless Trust. I went there looking for some answers and a prayer for today! I found some words for us and, not intentionally, plenty more “P” words to add to our prayers!!!!

Manning writes: “The way of trust is a movement into obscurity, into the undefined, into ambiguity, not into some predetermined, clearly delineated plan for the future. The next step discloses itself only out of a discernment of God acting in the desert of the present moment. The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious, and secure, and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered his presence and his promise.”

We walk in trust, because we believe in the love of Father. We have spent time with him in his word and know his stories, his decisions, his motivation. We have listened long to the cries of his heart. We have watched him over and over again pursue his people and welcome them home. He has wiped our tears, called us by name and made us dinner. He has stood watch over us, spread his wing to protect us, and crushed the enemy that works against us. We not only know these things in his word but we have experienced them in our own story and see them weaved in the stories of our friends. Father calls us again and again to remember the love despite the circumstance and take the steps into the unknown. There is absolutely no way for us to control, maneuver or answer the questions and challenges that meet us in our days! Manning says that “it requires heroic courage to trust in the love of God no matter what happens to us.”

Yes, it is an heroic act to rest in the love when the questions rage. As I write, I have a good friend driving her son to the hospital per the recommendation of their primary care doctor. The doctor could not find the answer in his office today for her son’s sickness and is sending him to the hospital for further testing. She has sent word to all of us in community together to pray! Kim did not have this in her plans for 2015! This was not on her radar! How does she walk? A “predetermined plan” of steps without pain is not possible. We are fooling ourselves to believe in this possibility and while we have all worked pretty hard in this Western Culture to create a sphere free of pain and struggle, it finds us, and we must have more in the arsenal than a thin understanding of the Bible and a stoic picture of Father. He must be in the center, our story living from his. Our peace coming from him. Our steps as his pilgrim remembering his “presence and his promise.”

The last words recorded in the book of Matthew are the words of Jesus reminding us of this truth: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Today, fellow pilgrims, we pray not for the “predetermined plans.” They will surely let us down. We don’t even pray for easy days and constant comfort. That just isn’t a reality either. So, we pray into “his presence and his promise.” This will hold us up and take us forward into these days of 2015!

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