Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Finding Time To Pray
What kept you from prayer today?
In the season of motherhood, it is so difficult to find time to pray. We don't even use the bathroom alone, how do we find time to enter into the secret place with Jesus?
Since adding our third baby, Joseph, to our family I have found myself in over my head. Every day I wake up and look at a to-do list that is bigger than I can do. I could drown in the piles of laundry alone.
Yet it is here, in this season, that God has been calling me into deeper intimacy with Him. He has been drawing me away...teaching me how to leave behind the list and chase after His heart first.
He has been asking me...
Do you really believe?
Do you really believe that if you seek Me first, I will add all other things to you? (Matt 6:33)
Do you really believe that only one thing is necessary--sitting at My feet and listening to My voice? (Luke 10:41)
Do you believe that it is necessary to clean the bathroom today?
Do you believe that it is necessary to drive to 3 different grocery stores to get the best deal so that you can afford to eat organic?
....necessary to make dinner tonight?
.....necessary to teach your child's reading lesson today?
.....necessary to get online to check that zulily deal for shoes or catch that chair for sale on craigslist?
....necessary to paint that room, hang those picture frames, remodel that space, or organize that pile of whatever?
...necessary to do your make-up or fix your hair?
These are important things, but are they THE important thing? Are they keeping you from THE important thing?
Are these things actually necessary?? They feel necessary, don't they? After all, our children need shoes and dinner and we have to keep it in the budget so we can be good stewards of our money....and we have to eat healthy so that we can be good stewards of our body....and the wise woman builds her house.....and the list of things we have to do just piles up and weighs us down like a list of religious laws that all stand between us and our love with Jesus.
But what if we were free?
Would we let making dinner stand between us and our prayer time if we really believed that God made bread fall down from heaven to feed His people in the desert?
Would we insist on organic or would we just pick up a pizza tonight if we really believed that God said those who believe in Him can drink deadly poison and it will not hurt them at all? (Mark 16:18)
Would we spend so much time sifting through coupons and ads if we really believed that God will clothe us more beautifully than the flowers? (Matt 6:30)
Would we spend so much time concerned about our workout or our hair or our makeup if we really believed that that Moses' face shone from the glory of God and that Samson's strength came from the Lord?
God has been challenging me to lay aside everything that steals my heart away from Him. He has been meeting me in my baby steps of faith...meeting me on this journey of setting aside the unimportant things in search of Him. Let me share a few short stories with you....
I really wanted an ottoman in our living room--a brown, square, leather ottoman. I was watching craigslist for it and checking it far too often and not finding a good deal. Honestly, I shouldn't even have been looking for one because even a used one wasn't in the budget as God is challenging us in our finances and giving lately also. God convicted me one day about wasting time on craigslist pursuing something as unimportant as furniture. I obeyed and stopped searching for furniture on craigslist and at the thrift store. About a month later, I walked out my front door and noticed that our next door neighbors were having a garage sale. I walked over to say hello and right there in the driveway was the ottoman I had been wanting. They gave it to me for $10 and even helped carry it over that night. Just a small example of the way that God will add everything else to us if we choose to obey and seek Him first.
One week, I could not figure out how to go grocery shopping. Joseph was having trouble at night so I could not go after he went to bed in the evening and I had church, appointments, and playdates set up the next few days so that there was no time to get to the store. I decided to take Jesus' advice and not worry about it. I think I had some basics in the pantry, but I was missing the fresh stuff....eggs, milk, fruits, and vegetables. That was on saturday. On Sunday, a friend that I usually buy eggs from asked if she could stop by that afternoon to drop off eggs. She also brought me fresh garden peppers. On Monday, our community group came over and a friend left behind a huge bag of plantains and some of the most delicious mangoes you've ever tasted. On Tuesday, I had a playdate and another friend brought over a huge tray of fresh fruit and vegetables to share AND chocolate chip cookies. We ate better than we would have eaten if I had gone to the grocery store! Jesus was right. I didn't need to worry about it.
A couple weeks ago, my house was wrecked and I could not catch up to get it clean. I was supposed to host community group dinner and I had no idea how I would have the house clean in time. I asked the Lord for help. Without my asking her, a friend offered to come over and watch my children for me so that I could clean for a couple of hours! I have really good friends, ya'll.. God loves me through them often. :)
The ottoman, groceries, and house cleaning were not the reward. I could have lived without them. Intimacy with God was the reward. These small things encourage me though to believe that I can really believe God. I can be free to seek Him, because He is powerful enough and loving enough to take care of everything else for me.
What about you? What keeps you from having time to pray? What do you need to let go of this week? Do you have any stories to share with us about the way God provides?