We are now seven weeks into this Covid quarantine and chomping at the bit to get back to life as we knew it, for the restrictions to be lifted, and for our freedoms to be restored.
Yet while I too, would love some things to get back to “normal”, I can sense the Holy Spirit urging us not to waste this moment by longing for what we don’t yet have. This is a unique moment, that contains unique, holy purposes of God. Don’t miss it.
It's Time to Get Oil!
I wrote about this from a different angle in last month’s blog, but let me caution us all, don’t waste this moment, don’t come out of this quarantine time like the five foolish virgins who didn’t get oil when they could, then didn’t have it when they needed it (Mt 25). This is a moment to embrace the deep transformative things that God wants to do, in the Church, but also in our lives.
A prophet said to me last week that his greatest fear is that we would come out of Covid the same as we went in-- that we would have squandered this trial. I so agree!
Shaping Us Into Houses of Prayer
On of the Holy Spirit’s top priorities during this time (for those who will receive His workings) is the creation of a much stronger life of prayer. He’s giving us the time to pray and a great reason to pray, He’s also giving us a grace, an empowerment, for those who will receive it, to build muscles in prayer where there has just been flab, or where muscles have atrophied. While there are some other important areas that He is working on in our lives as well, I want to zero in on how we can cooperate with Him as He reshapes us personally into houses of prayer.
The only way to access His empowerment to pray, that is—His grace—to pray, is to acknowledge our need. He gives grace to the humble, not the self-sufficient, and we were never meant to pray without His Spirit helping us (Rom 8:26).
But acknowledging our need is not enough, we must humble ourselves to receive His help. If we are trying to develop our prayer lives, yet doing it on our own steam, while we can set aside more time, we quickly bump into the reality that we don’t actually know how to fill that time.
Let's Learn From Jesus
We’ve grasped the idea that we need to talk to God, but don’t know how to line up our desires, our words, our requests with His, nor do we know how to stay steadfastly in that place, we find our minds wander, our emotions overwhelm us, our short attention spans are revealed. Prayer becomes a rambling “stream of consciousness”. Then on top of that all, our lack of self-discipline makes a consistent daily, investment in prayer a very real challenge.
We need more than to know that we should pray, or to even be aware of all the prayer needs in this Covid time— right now we need the Lord himself to apprentice us in prayer.
When His followers asked to be taught in prayer (Lu 11:2), they we actually asking to be personally apprenticed in prayer, not just get some tips. He responded to them as He responds to we who are asking for this same tutoring today, with a resounding “yes!” From there He gave them, (and by extension, anyone coming after them who wanted to have a prayer life like His) - the Lord’s Prayer.
I believe, that this is a prayer that matters like never before, and it is a key for this season. Here are some of my reasons:
1. It Guides Us Through the Chaos
2. It's Accessible
3) It's the Prayer of Unity
4) It Teaches Us the Gospel
5) God Wants Us to Pray Prayers He Can Answer
Friends, may we not waste this holy time!
By Sara Maynard