EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s guest post is from Elsbeth Jeanne Elisha who has been inspired by reading some of RLC’s contributors to conduct an experiment in prayer. Below is an invitation from Elsbeth to join her on this journey.
“Remember that prayer thing we were talking about last year? I’m calling to exhort you to actually do it.” My sister was referring to a conversation she and I had had about ISIS while making dinner one night at our parents’ house. We had talked about how scary it was to think about such horrific violence happening in this country…in our neighborhoods…to her children. The fear felt paralyzing. I wondered out-loud why we seem to care so much less when it’s NOT our towns, our children, our lives.
Shouldn’t it grieve us just as much when it’s happening half way around the world?
My culture has taught me to be self-sufficient, independent, and predictable. Since I was little, I have worked almost instinctively to draw that self-sufficiency and independence into my relationship with God. I am learning, though, that God asks for faith, reliance, hope and sometimes the absolute opposite of logic.
And He calls us to care. He models for us compassion. All throughout Scripture, our God is hope for the hopeless and “release from darkness” for prisoners. So how, when I love Him, could I not care about the hopeless in our world? Men, women, and children whose lives are filled with fear and darkness?
Still, what could I do? The first step to answering that question was to acknowledge my lack of faith. Lack of faith that God would listen to my prayers. Lack of faith that He would respond to them.
When Jesus invites his disciples to follow him, I believe he calls us to raise our expectations. Jesus calls people to believe the impossible. To expect the impossible!
What a little box I’ve squeezed Jesus into my whole life – one where he is able and mighty to do great things within the pages of Scripture, but not within the world that I currently look at and live in.
I don’t think I would have labeled it as disbelief at the time. I think there are many Christians who share the same experience, but maybe wouldn’t want to label it as disbelief either. Like I said, I did believe that God was powerful. I had no doubts about that. I have come to learn, however, that it is one thing to know that God is powerful, and another thing entirely to live like God is powerful.
I want to live like God is powerful. I want to expect that He will do mighty things.
So how can I not ask God to do the impossible in situations as desperate and as urgent as we are experiencing in our world right now? How can I not expect Him to respond? And how can I not invite the Church to expect it with me?
This is the purpose of ChrisisPrayer. I hope you’ll join me in this journey of prayer and faith.