My Mind Made Public -

I held off as long as I could ...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Prayer and Biblical Leadership

I believe that I can communicate directly with my Heavenly Father. We have conversations. Crazy or not, I know what is true and I know the Lord of the universe loves to be in close relationship with his children who are made in his image. I’m not special … this communication is not just an Andy thing, it’s an all people thing. We’re all God’s children and because of that fact I know with everything I am that God’s intent to be in deep, transparent relationship with us can play itself out clearly through dialoged, direct communication with us through our (the) Holy Spirit. I’ll save the dispensation-and-speaking-in-tongues-post for another time, but why I said what I did was because a few nights ago I had one of those moments of clearly defined communication with God.

I have started to practice a new form of ‘prayer.’ My new form consists of me stopping all of the asking. Sometimes, especially recently, all I felt I did was ask, ask, ask for things, blessings, healings, etc. It got boring. It got repetitive. And I just don’t feel like God wants me to sit and ask. I felt so disconnected from my Creator; I hated it. I hated to pray because prayer shouldn’t be about repetitive askings. So I ditched it.

Instead, I want to be a doer instead of an asker. I want to be a meditater and not a repeater. I want to talk to the Lord of All, Jehovah, face to face; word for word. I want to tell God everything that frightens me, wigs me out or overwhelms me – and then I want to know in comfort that the Creator of everything hears me. I know that sounds like a lot of ‘wants’ but really, they’re less ‘wants’ and more yearnings. My spirit yearns for these things like it has never yearned before.

With all of this newly realized angst in my soul, what I have realized is that I have been trying to fit my prayer life/quite time/whatever you want to call it into a timeline. I’ll read the Bible for a while, pray for a while, and then start my day. And all of that has to fit into an hour timeframe. What kind of ridiculous rational is that? Do I seriously think El Shaddai will work on my timeline for making him talk to me? I did – until I realized the error in my humanly inept logic.

A man that I greatly admire and look up to, and someone I’ve never met, is Dr. David Cho. He is the founding pastor of the world’s largest church (about 800,000 members – it’s in South Korea). I heard him speak live one time, and it was the most powerful message I had EVER heard. It changed my life. I can talk about that later. But why I’m saying this is because Dr. Cho came through for me again. In an article I was reading, Dr. Cho was talking about his prayer life and the article read:

“Yet he [Dr. Cho] sets aside substantial time each day with the Lord for prayer. Once when the president of South Korea called, Cho’s secretary replied, “Mister president, you will have to wait your turn. He is taking with the Lord of the universe. Cho says his secret of success is “I hear and obey.””

Wow. When I read that I got it. Dr. Cho doesn’t put the Lord on his timetable; he puts himself on the Lord’s timetable. Dr. Cho “talks to the Lord of the universe.” I can talk to the Lord of the universe. You can talk to the Lord of the universe. I realized that in order to do that I have to wait on God!

Therefore my new prayer life consists of me waiting on God. I read the Bible until I feel it’s time for me to start communicating with God, and then I’ll stop reading and start talking. I’ll share, talk, have a conversation, pour my heart/insecurities out, pray the Lord’s prayer, repeat and meditate on one verse/passage of Scripture … and then I’ll wait on God.

And I won’t move until I hear from Him and we can have a conversation – or, not a conversation as my Father has mostly just been talking to me lately.

Let me tell you though; he doesn’t start talking right away. I’ve waited still, silently, for many hours before I hear one word. I’ve decided (and isn’t ‘decided’ such a stupid word when talking about this stuff – it’s not mine to decide), but anyway, I’ve decided that I’m not moving until the Creator talks to his created.

And what a blessing these past few weeks have been. I feel closer to God than ever before, not because I’m a better human being but because I have finally learned to prioritize the Almighty over everything else in my life – including asking for things while “praying.”

Here is the word the Lord told me the other night and it is about how to lead God’s people:

All of the great leaders in the Bible that God used for glorious things surrounding God’s people (Moses, Samson, David, etc.) had one thing in common:

They all knew how to humble themselves before God – sins and all.

None of them were perfect. Each of them sinned great sins by directly going against God and his commands (Moses and the rock, Samson as a Nazarite, David and Bathsheba), and yet all of them are biblically recognized as greatly honored in God’s eyes. Why? How can they all commit such violent sins against God Himself and still be looked upon by our Father as great? The answer … because they all knew how to fully, totally and utterly humble all of their being before God. Only God can know intent and motivation. And although at times we as fallible humans have the wrong intent or motivation, God recognizes his chosen by their spirit, not their mistake. And because of that I can learn from my forefathers Moses, Samson and David – biblical and righteous leadership begins and ends with the humbled heart as a believer, doer and graciously thankful follower of the Way. And that is the only way to lead.

Much love.


Anonymous said...

i know this is a really stupid question but its one that always comes to mind for me when talking about prayer "do you close your eyes when you pray." sorry bout the yees or no answer i know that the answer isnt always as straight as that.

Andrew Marin said...

Most of the time my eyes are closed. If they're not closed then I find myself wondering - but sometimes (a lot less of the time) when they are closed I find myself wondering as well. It's about being able to put yourself in the best possible environment for comfort/relaxation/readiness. Overall I'd say I'm about 80% - 20% eyes closed.