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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Mission: what am I praying for?

“God, please help me…” “Dad, I really need this to work out.” “I don’t know what I am going to do if…” “How can I make this work?” “How does this fit into the plan? I thought You wanted me to go the other way.” “When is it going to get easier? I need a breakthrough, and I am pretty sure I needed it yesterday. Maybe actually last year. Where are You?”

And when I am quiet long enough, He softly whispers, “Right here.” The quiet voice is most easily heard when I am silent. I am not always good at being silent – even during my “quiet” time. I can get really busy learning instead of listening, or I can just stay busy complaining. I have a tendency to do that too.

Sometimes I get really caught up in what I think the mission is. I forget I can’t see the big picture. He has given me a part in His mission. He tells me a little bit about it, and I begin to think the little bit is a much bigger part of His mission than it may be. I start to try to control it. I seem to think if my part doesn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, then His Kingdom can’t come on earth as it has in heaven.

I forget His mission will continue with or without me. I forget the mission is so much bigger than I can possibly imagine. I don’t remember that my perspective is tremendously limited by how finite I am. My perspective doesn’t span time or space. My perception is only what these five senses can pick up from their immediate environment. Besides being limited, what they sense is also very skewed.

The other tendency I have is that I begin to pray for my part in the mission to become easier instead of praying for the mission to be completed. I start to think success looks like comfort. I begin to think if only my part would feel more comfortable, then clearly the mission would be headed in the right direction.

I was asked to carry a cross if I wanted to be His disciple. I was told I would have to lay down my life. I was instructed to kill the desires of my flesh. In spite of His description of how a life lived for Him ought to play out, I fall into the deception of the quest for comfort. Life would be better if…

He never promised me a bed of roses. At least not one without thorns. Instead He promised His supernatural peace in the middle of the greatest natural storm, His joy in the midst of incredible pain, love in a world of hate, divine patience in the middle of a very long wait, and the ability to be kind when treated cruelly by those around me. In a world of evil, He asked me to overcome evil with good. He knows though the cross will sometimes be heavy, in Him I will have the strength to be faithful. He has promised I can be humble and gentle in situations when my pride wants to rear its ugly head and demand, “Just one moment! Don’t you know what I deserve???” And when pain racks my earthly tent and I don’t think I can handle one more iota of it, He gives me self-control to not reach for earthly comfort. Some things a beer can’t fix.

Sometimes I forget that He never promised me a bed of roses. He said there would be a lot of sacrifice. He told me to count the cost, take up my cross and follow Him. In this moment, nothing seems more appealing than this invitation.

Recently my church started community “rhythms”. One is a weekly schedule for intercessory prayer for the world, country, city, friends, family, church, etc. I think it was beginning to participate in this discipline that made me realize:

Many times I don’t pray for His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. Instead I pray that whatever happens, could my life just become more comfortable while it is happening?

It has been my goal to begin to change that. I want to pray for His Kingdom to come in all its perfection. If it causes me some discomfort along the way, oh well. Maybe somewhere in all this He will shape me into the image of His Son. Maybe I will learn to think of my discomfort as a reason for pure joy.

Maybe I will begin to say with the Apostle Paul, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

What do you pray for? Do you find yourself praying for comfort along the journey instead of praying that the journey be profitable?

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