Ok… so I’ve been a missionary for about 9 months now, and I think for the FIRST time I’ve FINALLY learned how to pray. Do you wanna know what I’ve learned? Alright… I’ll tell you
A few weeks ago my dear brother and sister, John Paul and Sheila, were here leading worship during training week for the summer staffers. The Covecrest missionary girls were incredibly blessed to have Sheila staying in our house. While here, Sheila told us a part of her spiritual journey. She had an experience in college where a friend of hers asked how her spiritual life was. She said she was so excited to tell him about all the books she has been reading and how great her spiritual life was. After she was done, he said to her, “Sheila, your spiritual life will never be anything but less than ordinary if you do not prostrate yourself before the Lord everyday.” Wow. Ever since, she said she prostrates herself before the Lord everyday in prayer, recognizing her littleness but more importantly recognizing the power of God and His glory. She said her spiritual life has been transformed.
As I shared in my last blog, the Lord has been speaking to me about the beauty of being little. In my littleness, I am able to make God the only important part of who I am. Last week the quote “When I forgot myself, then I truly became happy” by St. Therese was speaking over and over again into my heart. As wonderful as this revelation has been, I realized that I was not understanding this the way the Lord wanted me to. For so long I would sit with the Lord and focus on myself. I would recognize my littleness, my wretchedness instead of focusing on the Lord. I would allow my sin to define me instead of my identity as God’s daughter define me. I would allow my wounds to make me fall into despair instead of living into God’s merciful love and having that fill me with joy every morning.
I talked with Chris today about what God has been doing in my heart. It was so beautiful… I shared with him that my prayer all last week was “Lord, help me to forget myself”. Although this prayer has a good intention, I was focusing still on myself. Instead of asking the Lord how I could bring Him glory, I was focusing on my flaws and what I shouldn’t do . Instead of saying “Lord I praise you and desire to do your will.” I was praying “Lord, help me to not be prideful… help me to forget myself.. help me to not do this or not do that” ! Does that make sense? My prayer should always be “Lord, I praise and exalt you. May I bring you glory to you” instead of what I shouldn’t do. It’s amazing how this small change in how I pray can help me live in the freedom of God’s love instead of being constrained to what I’m not doing right.
“Lord how can I bring you glory?” It’s about HIM… not about ME.
So… I put these two together. Sheila and Chris’ words spoke such truth into my heart. How do I pray? I prostrate myself; I get as far as I can to the ground, and when I don’t think I can kneel any further, I kneel even more. I kneel for about 10-15 minutes recognizing my littleness, but MOST IMPORTANTLY praising the Lord for His goodness, His mercy, His majesty, His power, His faithfulness. Then, I ask Him, “Lord how can I be your disciple? How can I bring you glory today? How can I manifest your love and truth today?”
It’s all about HIM.