Dear Grace Family,
Somehow, we’ve already made it through 6 weeks of our Wednesday night study for the semester. I found it hard to believe as I checked the last February date off my sheet last night. What are some of the themes you’ve noticed uniting the various prayers we’ve studied together? There are 4 words I keep coming back to as my thoughts return to our time together each midweek – literacy, humility, dependency, urgency. What do I mean by literacy? These prayers are the result of people who had a working knowledge of their God. One that is formed by sheer knowledge, yes. But also one that has come from constantly applying that knowledge to the heart and developing not only a world view, but a warm relationship of knowing and being known. Flowing, then, out of this literacy the next word that I keep thinking of is humility. It seems as though humility is actually the driving force of the bold confidence these folks are praying with. Knowing who they aren’t is driving them back to the God who is. The more humble our hearts, it seems, the more boldly we will approach the throne of grace in prayer. Literacy leads to humility which then leads to dependency. Once we have an accurate view of self as it relates both to God and the world around us, we will become comfortable admitting our profound limitations. As much as we all wish God’s providence worked in a way that allowed us to avoid it, we really do grow in our sanctification “best” and “fastest” under duress. Being at the end of our rope and out of options has been the ideal circumstance for many a Christian’s spiritual revival. I’m sure these folks praying in the Bible would’ve had other plans for their lives. However, what we have recorded are models of biblical prayer that would’ve otherwise been missing from the record, were it not for a people who were dependent on God. Literacy leads to humility, which leads to a dependency that is often worked out with a real sense of urgency. I would never recommend a model of prayer that says, “don’t pray until you’re out of options.” However, we also can’t ignore the fact that some of our richest seasons of prayer have been in this exact setting. Y’all, the fact of the matter is, all of life is urgent when we remember that our days are numbered and heaven and hell are real. In some sense, we are always in a season of urgency. Keep thinking about these prayers and see what themes/key words float to the surface in your mind. See y’all Sunday!