Fall Reflections

How much more in control I would feel if prayer could be reduced to a concoction of incantations:

Pray this combination of verses…
in this order …
in this position …
for x hours a day…
for y days …
with z amount of tears…
and the spell will be unbound and the curse lifted.

That’s what my fairy-taled illusions want prayer to be. But that’s exactly what it cannot be.
Pray verses, yes.
Unceasingly, yes.
Prostrated, yes.

But not as part of a magic formula. For such a notion attempts to put God in my power – to cunningly control and charm the One who oversees the universe into doing my bidding.

No, the power of prayer appears to be in the proximity it places us to the throne of our King… The King whose very Prince of Peace taught us to pray “Thy Kingdom come…on earth as it is in heaven” as He works within and through us to unwind a creation-wide curse whose spell He has already broken. To span a gap between heaven and earth that He has already bridged.

If we want His Kingdom to come fill the earth, then what we want is what He wants. This holy desire is at the root of every prayer that has been answered for the past 2000 years. That, indeed, He has been faithful to answer with His own, “Amen – let this be so.”

So I close my eyes and pray with not only words but with a prophetic imagination that places me in that throne room. And in my mind, this renewed Creation floods and transforms pockets of earth and failing bodies with a light that purifies away all decay.

And yet this new re-Creation takes a time whose days and hours we do not understand. And thus, as much as I want it all NOW, it is as often “not yet” as it is “already”.

And so we pray… peering through the portal to the High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses… and in our weaknesses gives us His strength… to exult in the everlasting hope of the glory of God.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

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