2006-07-13 - Status Reports
Gal 4:6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba , Father." (NIV)
One of the least enjoyable things about my job is collecting my activities into a weekly status report for my management. It is tedious and time-consuming, boring and I could be doing other productive things. For a long time I didn't see the value in them and I resented having to report my actions to others. I felt like I was being watched over at a very restrictive level and that I wasn't being trusted to maintain my schedule appropriately. It was simply a duty and a chore.
I cornered my Vice-President one day and asked him why they made us to these weekly reports. His answer was an eye-opener. They used it to justify to their management that our projects were making progress, to spot tasks that were taking longer than planned to divert resources so that everything stayed on schedule, and to justify my position. By reporting my work, I was actually making it clear to those above me that my efforts were beneficial and needed by the company. It was still a tedious task, but it was far less annoying when I realized there was a direct benefit to me. It helped with my end of year reviews (raises and promotions) too. Imagine that.
There are a number of Christians who find prayer to be a chore. I submit to those who do that they have missed the point as far as I missed the point of the status reports I did.
There is a reverence we should show for God. He is the Lord of all Creation. His power and wisdom exceeds our ability to comprehend even conceptually with our finite minds. He holds the Universe within the span of his hand. And yet, He knows our names and the number of the hairs on our heads. Many of us know that Abba translates to "Papa" - a very intimate title that only a son or a daughter use. God wants a relationship with is at that level. When we hurt physically, emotionally or spiritually, He knows and cares. He knows our needs and the desires of our hearts better than we do ourselves.
This is not a chore or tedious. To be able to bring our joys and our pains to someone who cares and will not laugh at us or belittle us should be a safe haven. The answer to our requests will sometimes be no, or wait. But noone has our best interests at heart, and knows our genuine needs and wants to meet them as well as the Lord.
There is also the idea that this is "all I can do is pray" for a friend in trouble, or sick. Consider that your request reaches the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Lord of Hosts - the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end. Consider that all you can do is petition the God of Heaven and Earth, and all you can do might seem a little more potent than you originally thought.
If your prayers are dry, rote prayers, try talking with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. "Lord, I have a friend and they are really sick", or "they are really struggling", or "help me tell them about You". And listen - "be still and know than I am God". Prayer is a conversation, and God wants to spend time with you. Imagine that.
Grace & Peace,