Prayer Notes #9–Wanting What You Want, Lord, Then Doing What I Want

A Tulip in my Backyard

Savior, thank you for your unfailing presence with me.  Thank you for reminding me that everything I do is filled with meaning in you.  You know that I struggle against and resist so much of what you lay before me to do, because I don’t “feel like” doing it.  So very much of my meaning and fulfillment in my activities and pursuits in life must be coming from how I feel, from doing mainly what I “feel like doing.”  But I translate that in my mind, and I realize that what I’ve confessed just now is that my meaning and fulfillment in life comes from devoting my energies to satisfying my whims and wants.  That is the truth, isn’t it, Lord?  I am ashamed.  That isn’t the man I want to be.  I am sorry.  I want that orientation in me to be changed — by your Spirit.

It isn’t merely a matter of psychology.  It isn’t just a matter of my ideas.  It’s a matter of my character.  It’s a matter of my heart.  It’s a matter of having my whole sense of what’s important, what’s valuable, just turned around and upside down.  I need to be changed, transformed, re-created.  I can’t make this change.  But I can ask you to do it.  I can plead for it with an open and receptive heart.  And that is what I do right here, right now.

I want my sense of meaning and fulfillment in my life and in my activities to come from doing the work of your kingdom.  I don’t want it to come from what I “feel like” doing.  I want my sense of meaning, purpose, fulfillment to come from  seeing the fruit of your kingdom growing out of the things I spend my time doing.

Lord, living for you is not easy or natural to me.  I’ve lived for my own whims and comforts for so long and so unconsciously that to try to order my living differently is very awkward.  I realize the I have to be constantly vigilant.  I have to be alert for every temptation to give in to my impulses to chase every interesting distraction.

Sometimes that is so confusing to me because many of those “interesting distractions” are in no way sinful or wrong in themselves.  As I sit here, Lord, I see the clutter and mess of my desk.  It cries out to me to tidy, to clear away, to clean up the clutter.  That would not be a sinful thing to do.  But I know that it isn’t the thing for this moment.  You want me to share this prayer.  But this writing is hard work and the tidying might be much more satisfying, or at least, easier on my brain.

Make me wise to know myself.  Make me so committed to doing good to myself that I would let myself off easily.  Enable me to love myself so much that I will not let myself be satisfied to allow myself to wander around doing only what I “feel like doing.” Instead, enable me more and more to lead myself out to do what is good and to set about accomplishing the things that I really do want to accomplish even though they are hard.

© 2010 Gary A. Chorpenning


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