faith and warriors and rising
We were late to church this weekend. We went to a different service from the one we normally attend and, for some reason, none of us thought to check to see what time it actually started. We missed most of worship and found ourselves scrambling to sit down, holding all our things, while trying to pass the offering bucket that happened to come our way at this moment. I probably shouldn’t have found it funny, but I kinda did. It was one of those times where I imagine what it must’ve looked like scrambling and shuffling and making a bit of a scene and I really hoped that it was amusing to someone. Seriously.
Normally when stuff like this happens, I get a flustered and frustrated, even embarrassed. Or, quite possibly, I get mad at whatever (whoever) made us late. But this time I just settled in, a little distracted and unfocused since my thoughts were mostly on the memorial and celebration of life we had just come from but fairly calm. I had been looking forward to hearing from Glyn Barrett (the guest speaker this week) but my mind definitely was pulled in a many different directions. I wasn’t frustrated or angry just…a little distracted after the entrance we just made.
But when I pulled out my outline to take notes while our speaker was being introduced, the words PRAYER WARRIOR kept playing on repeat in my brain. It was like a flashing neon light of words that kept my attention and wouldn’t let me think about anything else. In order to focus my thoughts back to what was happening in church, I wrote those words on my outline to think about later. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I had this grand plan of meditation for these words. It was literally just a way to get my brain to shut up. Kinda like when a little kid keeps asking you the same question over and over and you give them an answer or a distraction so they can stop talking and you can actually hear yourself think? It was a “sure, sure words and writing it down, but sure” kind of placation to my thoughts – mostly to shut them up.
The funny thing about these words going off like a siren in my brain is that I don’t consider myself a prayer warrior. I pray. I believe in the power of prayer. I have faith in prayer. I just don’t necessarily think I’m very good at it and I’m not always good about being expectant in my prayers. Just getting my brain to slow down and be quiet for prayer is NOT easy. I have to constantly come back to what I was just praying about 30 seconds before because my brain had already shifted to my to-do lists or what I wanted for breakfast or wondering if Kiki actually loved that guy and why did they spend so much time driving? I guess I just figure that true prayer warriors have a much more mature brain than I do.
Throughout the service, Glyn spoke on John chapter 11 and Mary and Martha and Lazarus. About God’s timing and about being stuck between believe and unbelief. He referenced Mark chapter 9 when Jesus tells a doubting father that anything is possible when someone believes. But then Glyn said something that I almost didn’t catch. He said, “When God gives you a word, faith rises.” He briefly went on about journalling and writing it all down, but to be honest, I’m not entirely sure because I was distracted by that sentence.
“When God gives you a word, faith rises.”
I get in my own way A LOT. Doubt and fear can creep in at the worst times. And I often pray “in faith” all the while giving God a way out. Like, “I totally get it if God doesn’t answer my prayers because…I mean, why would He answer mine? It’s okay, God! I’m good!”
But what if I actually prayed in boldness like a prayer warrior might? What if the PRAYER WARRIOR neon sign in my brain was part of my road map to faith rising in my prayer life? Instead of feeling like I am being needy during my prayers or that I’m arrogant for believing that my prayer could be answered, what if, in boldness, I let my faith carry my prayers to a loving and good God? He’s a big God. He can handle my anger and sadness and concerns and my worries. I can have confidence that my prayers will be answered in His time and in His way not because *I* am good but because He is. And I can remind myself that placing my faith and my confidence in a loving and good God is a lot different than arrogance of wanting to get whatever I want from a genie in a lamp kind of god.
Sometimes I feel so new to this faith stuff. And it feels weird to talk about it in a way that was, before, so personal. Getting out of my own way feels A LOT like stepping outside comfort zones and stepping out in faith more than I’ve every done before. It’s uncomfortable and, yeah…it makes me feel like I’m gonna puke. But I need to remember that “mustard seed” faith is a “move mountains” kind of faith so I’m going to take the word(s) that God gave me and let faith rise.
Let’s see where it goes.