Monday, August 8, 2011

The Prayer Warrior Life: Backsliding

I write to you from the prayer warrior battle field, admitting defeat. A hard post to write.

Somehow in the last few weeks a preoccupation with financial concerns and health concerns--having a van to take four children to necessary places, like church, and surviving acute headaches--has so invaded my everyday thoughts that my mind is less focused on prayer. Previously I'd gained the ability to focus on prayer virtually anyplace I found myself. Now I must once again use my prayer blog or my mind wanders. Shamelessly.  And prayer doesn't flow in and out of my mind all day anymore, either.

Around here, anytime I sit down to a computer or journal a myriad of interruptions occur, even at night......especially now that husband is home at night and I'm no longer alone. We may have to pray together every night, just to avoid interrupting one another. He, too, has started a keyboard prayer journal, by the way.

As I felt my grip on prayer loosening, I grieved my own humanity. How can I come so far, only to fail? To backslide?

My preoccupation with vans and headaches is not due to a lessening faith. I still believe in God's provision for things that are truly needed. What I'm suffering from is weariness. Every Christian suffers from weariness at times. Missionaries often work for decades in one area before seeing sweeping or even measurable change. Mothers, missionaries in their own right, often wait years for lasting fruit in their children.

The one-income journey takes perseverance. I see fruit and I never question whether we're supposed to do this. This is God's will, no matter whether our earning potential is more fit for a third world than a first.

Now for a little diversion into my mind.

Today the kids and I took a hike to find a vacuum belt to keep our undesirable vacuum going a little longer. Hopefully. Do you know what thoughts occupied me on our drive?

If we had a dirt floor, I wouldn't need a vacuum.

A carpet--keeping it vacuumed and shampooed--is a first-world concern. And having a vehicle to get to church is a first world concern. Something tells me my correspondent child from India, Divya, doesn't need a car to get to church. And what about running out of Windex or Cascade? I wouldn't need the money for all kinds of expensive supplies if I had a simple brick and dirt house.

Yes, I'd spend time hauling water and washing clothes by hand and making sparse meals without a kitchen, but am I really better off? I work hard anyway, keeping up with our first-world environment. My prayers have changed recently for my precious Divya. I no longer ask that she have a real house and yard someday for her children. Instead, I keep up my prayers for three meals a day, for no preventable diseases, and for a long, deep walk with Christ. I mention other things too, but wanting to place her in a first-world environment is no longer one of them. (She is our correspondent child, not a sponsored child. If you don't have the means to be a sponsor--$38/mo.--but would like to encourage a child anyway, let me know and I'll post the Compassion number again, which gets you started.)

Now after that mind diversion, let me take you back to my weariness.

Remember what Jesus said to the disciples regarding their falling asleep instead of praying, near the hour of his capture? "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" Matthew 26:41. I'm willing to pray fervently all day--I want it with my whole heart--but my humanity is just too much sometimes.

What causes weariness? Waiting. The Christian life involves a lot of it. God changes things, answers things, relieves things, in timing that works for Him. His purpose is to magnify His glory and further His Kingdom.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

And sometimes, he simply doesn't relieve things or change things. Because not doing so magnifies His grace.

Regarding the thorn in Paul's flesh......2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 

If you've started your own prayer warrior journey--please tell me you have?--expect your humanity to get in the way sometimes. No matter how far you've come. Don't make the same mistake I did.  Don't spend time grieving over this. Expect it and move on. Fast.

To read more of my prayer journey, check out Into a Life of Prayer: A Journey Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6, Part 7

To read even more, check out A Day in the Life of a Prayer Warrior part 1part 2part 3part 4part 5part 6, Part 7

A sweet friend, Amy, wrote guests posts for us, telling of her prayer journey: Vol. 1, and Vol. 2, and Vol. 3Vol. 4, Vol. 5

No comments: