We had a prayer meeting at church the other day during a leadership meeting. As I sat there I was moved by the many prayers for specific people in the church, community, and lives of the people praying. They really were beautiful prayers and I felt their heart as they prayed. Then someone came and smacked me upside the head. One of my brothers prayed a confession for all of us…he asked forgiveness for our prayers being too small and in turn making God small. He prayed that instead of us reaching a handful of people in West Seattle that the entire city of Seattle would know God and the entire nation would look on in disbelief! What??? Why would I pray for something so impossible?
My biggest prayer ever was that God would heal my dear friend Jeannie of cancer. I fully believed he would and to me that was asking the impossible, a true miracle. Why would I not have prayed that God would cure all cancer?
We had another prayer meeting the following night and again was struck by how limited and small I (we) pray. To be honest, lately I have been convicted about how small my world is, not in terms of prayer though. I was at the movie theatres to see an independent movie about food. I was in tears watching the previews! The first preview was for a movie called No Impact Man; my sadness was that I never even consider the impact I have on my environment. The simple things I could be doing to reduce my carbon footprint (by the way this is a new word in my vocabulary). The other movie was about an American Idol type series in Afghanistan called Afghan Star (http://www.afghanstardocumentary.com/). Here’s an excerpt:
But in a troubled country like Afghanistan, even music is controversial. Considered sacrilegious by the Mujahiddeen and outright banned by the Taliban (1996-2001), music has come to symbolize freedom for the youth. While the conflict still rages many of those taking part are literally risking their lives.
Our main characters reveal the true hopes and dreams of the Afghan youth, their desire for peace, education, and freedom to express themselves. 60% of the Afghan population are under 21, and despite the backdrop of conflict, corruption and repression they are funny, articulate and ultimately inspiring.
At that moment of watching these previews I was truly struck by how small my world is! I do not usually think much beyond what I see and experience. Paul David Tripp wrote in A Quest For More, “The little kingdom will quite regularly don the latex masks of outward participation in worship, obedience, and ministry. It will appear as though it is serving the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, when daily it is bowing before the throne of self. Driven by earth-bound treasures and anxiety –bound needs, its worship can only be the worship of self.”
More awareness of my little kingdom of me was revealed this week and I look forward to sharing that in another blog. For now, I am reflecting on what repentance should look like and how to move from my little world to the big world of God.