Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Who's the Boss?

I'm sure that you have experienced a like situation. I came across a very familiar scripture and, for some reason, saw it from a slightly different angle.

This is the familiar scripture: II Chronicles 7:14

...and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Like you, I have heard and read this scripture many times. This time my attention was brought to one piece of the statement. "humble themselves and pray"!

Leaping into my mind was the thought, "does it really require humility to pray?" Of course it doesn't! We can pray any number of prayers without the slightest bit of humility. "Now I lay me down to sleep", "God is great, God is good, thank you God...." , "Bless dad and mom and all the missionaries of the world".

You know, come to think of it, most of my prayers don't require humility. Is something wrong with the way I am reading scripture, or, is there perhaps something wrong about how I see prayer?

I remember an account of two men the Jesus told his disciples about one day. The first carried an air of superiority claiming his appreciation to God for not being made like other people; the second standing some distance away (wonder why?) simply beat his chest and pleaded with God to be merciful to him, a sinner. Can you feel the difference here?

Humility is not a state of feeling that you are less than you think you are; humility is understanding exactly who you are. It is the stark reality of who we really are that drives us to the point of desperate need that brings us to prayer that is "heard in heaven."

Consider with me what it means to "humble yourself and pray".

No comments: