Proverbs Prayers (Proverbs 2:16-19)

11 12 2010

Proverbs 2:16-19

Prayer: Lord move us, move humankind, away from blaming things on gender or race or sexuality or denomination or things that have nothing to do with You but everything to do with our devil worship though our hard-heartedness. Lord, yes, I’m being honest: a lot of what we think is You is not You. Help us take responsibility where we need to. Take the blinders that we’ve put on over our own eyes towards people: remove hate towards the church, other races, ethnicities, people who hold different faiths. Lord, I know I’m tip-toeing along the edge but our faith in You shouldn’t encompass the hate You came to the earth to warn us against. Lord, our faith shouldn’t look like the devil’s work. Lord, we need prophets to speak to us. We need Your truth to make our ears bleed, our hearts ache, our bodies tremble because of the sin we have called Your Son. God, shifting shortcoming isn’t of You, letting love die towards one another because our misunderstanding of what You were and are saying isn’t of You, giving up on what is hard isn’t of You, giving up on people because relationship with them is hard isn’t of You. God, You never give up on us. We have no right to do so on our brothers and sisters. We have no right not to accept forgiveness for the sins we’ve committed against others because we think we were right all along. God, kill our pride.

Lord, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m wrong a lot. We all are. It is only be the power and grace of Your Holy Spirit that we truly begin to know something in our hearts. God, I know that hate in Your name isn’t always right. I know what Proverbs 6 says; I know the seven abominations. Could our judgmental eyes, proof-texting and gossiping tongues, demon-transferring hands meant to release Your love in their laying onto others, “spiritually wicked” and hard hearts, “Gospel-of-peaceless-run-to-the-altar-for-so-and-so’s-deliverance-first-and-ours-last-or-never” feet, “un-finished-but-self-diagnosed-testimony-of-our-own-righteousness”, and church-splitting spiritual beliefs be the six things you hate the seven things that are an abomination?

With the inefficacy of the church today, I think so. God, I say this not to be mean or put down the church, but to ask You to help us wake up, for real. We’re not doing much. We’re not affecting many people in the way that Jesus did. We’re not Jesus, but we believe in Jesus and that should mean something about the way we live and attempt to minister. Lord, we’ve added so many midrashes to the Bible, that we have no pure perspective from which to approach it anymore, and this is sad. This hurts my heart so much, because I know I have been formed in and affected by this, but I haven’t changed much about myself.

Lord, help us to critically approach and question doctrine that doesn’t settle with us. God, if we doubt it’s from You, help us explore it. It’s the least we can do. Too many people are being preached a demonic word that has nothing to do with You. God, Luke 4 demonstrates that the devil can preach; he can throw scripture and his interpretation on it together and even pitch it to You. The devil is not afraid of Your word. We must not be either, so help us ask questions and get real answers from each other and from You. Books and conferences, sermons and services give us what others think, time with You gives us what we think. Help us combine that and put You first.

Lord, I know this reflection is strange, but it’s what was on my heart. We, the church, need to desperately realize where the devil has creeped into our life and language claiming to be You. God, shatter, destroy, kill off that in us which prevents us from hearing and knowing Your voice. If that means that our church doctrine, our small group platform, our para-church practice and/or ministry, our friendships, our relationships with our pastors and minister friends must die, then kill it. It’s too impossible to live for You when we have no intention to when living and preaching instruction You never gave us. Lord, I feel that a lot of us are caught in traps; Lord, these traps feel like homes. God, if You need to, foreclose our homes and move us into the wilderness until we get where we need to go. Remove us from slavery that we mistake for provision and longevity. Lord, we don’t want to get it wrong anymore. Show us the way. God, how else can You live in us unless we move out, allow You to correct our faulty foundation and the move back into a stable spiritual understanding? We can’t without You. Overwhelm us with Your presence and wisdom to follow Your wisdom. It’s in Jesus’ perfect and holy name I pray, Amen.

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