“I’m just starting to get things figured out.”
Have you ever thought that about some area of your life?
Parenting maybe. “My kid seems to have good friends, good grades, and is very respectful. I think we are starting to get this parenting thing figured out.”
Maybe in your business. “We have the capital to expand, customer satisfaction is at an all time high, we are finally profitable. I think I have this thing figured out.”
Pastors say the same thing when starting a church. We have a great community, our city knows that we care, people are growing in their faith, I think we got this figured out.
And then something happens, say…a global pandemic…and you feel out of control again.
The question I ask myself lately though is, “Why do I feel more out of control in a pandemic than in life without one?” The reality is that I don’t have control over things like where we will get to meet as a church, or how many people we can reach with the gospel. And I certainly can’t control people’s hearts, or even who comes to us for help.
In Chapter 5 of Paul Miller’s A Praying Life, he reminds us of John 5:19, John 5:30 and John 8:28 where even Jesus, our Lord and Savior says, “I can do nothing of my own accord.” “I can do nothing on my own.” And “The Father who sent me has himself given me…what to say and what to speak.”
Jesus never said, “I got this.” “I think I have this ministry thing, or this carpentry thing under control.” He always depended on his father. And he showed that in prayer. Because as soon as we know that we can’t do any bit of life on our own, then prayer becomes not optional, but a complete must.
It makes sense to start each day in prayer because prayer says to God, “What are WE going to do today?” It makes sense to take every task, every opportunity and breathe a quick prayer for God’s grace, power and wisdom.
And yet I don’t because it’s not efficient. Spending time in prayer doesn’t help get things off my to do list. But Jesus always chose intimacy and relationship over efficiency and a to do list.
On page 37, Paul Miller says, “If you are not praying, then you are confident that time, money and talent are all you need in life.” In fact, the actual act of praying makes you more and more dependent on God because you are trusting that less time to do and more time to pray will allow you to do everything hand in hand with the Father.
So, what will life be like when things start to go back to normal after measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 are dialed back?
Will it feel like I am in control again?
Or will I continue to do nothing except what I see the Father doing? Will I continue to ask Him each morning, “What are WE going to do today?”