That is the question that I asked my Bishop after bible study today. He responded: “That is when you should pray the most.” It’s not like I didn’t know that. Ever since I could talk I knew what prayer was. That’s all my parents ever did, day in & day out. I grew up in church, and sadly I strayed away. Sometimes as a Christian “I” know what “I” need to do, and “I” just don’t do it. Could it be rebellion ? Could it be due to frustration ? Could it be due to putting in spiritual gains and not getting immediate spiritual results ? Nobody said living righteous would be easy, but they always say it’s worth it. It is hard at times, a lot of times, but it is SO very worth it.
There are times when I know I should be in my word but instead I’m reading some book. Possibly because it will tell me how this person’s story ended. I would rather go in my refrigerator and grab my Kraft cheese whiz my ritz crackers out the pantry, and then lay propped up on the couch and indulge in my temporary choice of escaping reality. Why ? Because it’s SO much easier than facing my present day reality. And the answers to the character that I am reading problems are in the back of the book, right before the Q&A, and/or index.
Just like you, yes YOU! You’re reading my post right now instead of being on your knees praying about the very thing(s) that are convicting you. Dang, Ree! Why did you just turn on me ? Because I want you to see just how fast the devil turns on you. The enemy is crafty, and our mind is what he is after. He knows if he could magnify our problems he can magnify our actions. The enemy will make 2+2 seem like 4,000, when in fact it is really 4. He will make a Prius with minimum storage space seem like a Dodge Caravan with third row seats. If he can get you to trip off the illusion he has created for you in your mind, he has already knocked you off of your feet.
Just like that that you’ve become unbalanced. Unbalanced like me, skipping my home church for almost a month straight thinking my personal worship, and devotion at home would keep me sustained. Truth is I’ve been weak! My spiritual tank has been cruising on “E”. My spiritual check engine light has been on for about a month. My check oil sign has been flickering within me. My brakes were getting ready to give out on me. But why ? I’ve been living outsides the means of accountability and biblical community.
My breakdown last night is what did it for me. I’ve been trying to be a superhero for too long. “Look at me God, I got it, can’t you see, I’m strong!” Handling the punches and jabs like Mayweather, soon had me down like Frazier. Like the lady with the issue of blood, I just needed one touch of encouragement, one chance to be revived from my issue, my issues. “Lord, I need you and if you care anything about me right now allow me to be in the place that I met you, where you met me. Allow me to be in the place that I said YES to you. Allow me to be in the place where I get my breakthroughs. I confess, it’s been SO hard, I realize NO matter how hard I try, I can’t make it without YOU!.”
I make it to bible study, I pressed my way there. Let me stop by the corner store first, get some Now And Laters to wash away my bitterness, as I’m in a place I don’t really want to be in right now, but know where I need to be. Go figures, I’m the first one there. Bishop is setting up, smiling, and greeting me and saying how nice it is to see me. He’s greeting me like I’m some sort of celebrity. Like, I am somebody! I AM SOMEBODY!! He’s powerful, and like always I know he has a message that’s going to knock the voice of the enemy right out of me, I’m about to be convicted. It’s to the point that God ALWAYS allow the word of God to be exactly what I need. I rest my case, I stood convicted, again. One day after church I asked my Bishop, “Bishop do you have a bluetooth on me?” The word is always what I need.
Prior to noon day bible study I talked to my First Lady (Bishop’s wife) for hours today. I told her I’ve been struggling in areas of my faith. This is going on, that is going on, she listened, blessed me with the word , dropped some golden nuggets on the purpose of long suffering, and said “Let us pray.” She prayed for me, once again here is that thing that I had no desire to do since the weekend. After pressing my way to church, today’s bible study was on church history. It blessed me! I’ve learned of the death of the apostles. How they were put to death by way of torture. Some were stoned, crucified, beheaded, and burned alive. They were killed because of their faith, for what they believed in. Here I am alive, dying on the inside by choice**. My God! Bishop said something that stuck with me: “We should not be so casual with our faith when SO many of our ancestors lost their lives due to doing what we do so freely today.”
God forgive me! Forgive me for falling, for complaining, for being weak. Forgive me for not trusting you completely. Forgive me for doubting you, for not believing. Just like the index in the books that I read to escape reality, the bible is my blueprint. In it lies every answer to every problem that I face. You’re the answer. You have equipped me with enough tools to run my race until I reach the finish line. I know that everything that I am going through is birthing the greater me, and beating the lesser me out so that I can be the best me. I realize that prayer is not for you! Prayer is for ME, for him, for her, for us, for them and you get the glory from it. God thank you for not forsaking my destiny because of my disobedience and disapproving choices. I love you God!!!!
What I’m realizing often is: The things we don’t want to do are the things that we need to do. Don’t forsake prayer. Prayer is what got us through thus far. Somebody somewhere is praying for you. I encourage you to pray for you. Also, pray for those around you, everyone you know, and those you don’t know. You just never know what people are going through. Prayer works! I feel SO much better!!!! Having people around you that pours into you is necessary. Despite all the calamity I endured this past weekend, I felt peace as soon as I got into the sanctuary. You don’t have to carry all your burdens. THIS BATTLE IS NOT YOURS! It’s the Lord’s! Cast all you cares on him because HE truly cares for you. It’s ok to admit that you fell, that you struggled, that you don’t have it all together. God already knows that anyway. He wants you, he wants everything you’ve done, you’re doing, you’re going to do. He can still use you despite what transpired!
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:12) ….He’s waiting for you to call him.