April 2021

Casting Hindrance Aside

Writer’s block is a real thing. The blank page can be intimidating and somewhat paralyzing. Pushing through this wall takes determination and courage, and if you’re a writer, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There is that moment when you are absolutely convinced that no matter how effervescent you’ve been in the past, no matter how readily the words have tumbled out, the well is now completely dry and no more water will come gushing or even trickling forth. You lose faith in the source.

The same, I think, can be true in our prayer life. You come to a place, a season, when it seems harder than ever to bow your knee, bend your will, embrace the good work of prayer. Academically, even experiencially, we know that prayer is more than a duty. It is an invitation to be in communion with the lover of our souls. Why is it, then, that we can find ourselves suddenly prayer-less? Maybe it’s because we lose sight of the source. Maybe it’s because we are focused more on what is keeping us from Him than what He did to bring us to Him. Maybe we forget that it actually starts with addressing Him and not with addressing the topic.

As a writer, I am first and foremost, addressing my reader. I am reaching out to connect with a person. Someone who is interested. Someone who is looking for a moment of interaction, even if that interaction is motivated by a desire for self discovery. As a writer, I am continually self-disclosing. And somewhere in the midst of your seeking and my revealing, we have fellowship. We begin to be on a journey together.

When God says we should pray, He is offering this same fellowship. He is inviting us to join Him, to follow Him, and as we seek, He reveals. Prayer is much more about being with Him and getting to know Him than it is about the topic of our conversation with Him. He is always willing to listen to my hopes and my fears (about myself and those He puts on my heart) and to receive my sometimes awkward praise. But in the end, it’s His presence and what He has to say that changes things. I push through the wall of uncertainty and doubt to find that He is more eager than I can imagine to give me the things that pertain to life and godliness. Even if I don’t come away with specific answers, I always come away with comfort and hope. Truly, it is His nearness that does me good. Even if He says nothing, His very presence lifts me up. I see Him, and He sees me.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14 NKJV) The Phillips translation says it this way: “We have such confidence in him that we are certain that he hears every request that is made in accord with his own plan. And since we know that he invariably gives his attention to our prayers, whatever they are about, we can be quite sure that our prayers will be answered.” Mind you, His answer isn’t always, “Yes.” His answer doesn’t always explain things to my intellect. But the very fact that He is answering means He has heard me. He has listened. My confidence is in His person, His character, and leaving my hopes and fears with Him frees me to then be about the business of living out the gospel as a forgiven and redeemed child of God. I come away knowing Daddy’s got this.

So, dear reader, let us be about the Father’s business. Let us break the silence and cry out to our Father, who is in heaven. Let us see Him high and lifted up and cast all our cares upon Him, the One who has been so very careful with us.

Until next week, beloved, cast aside every hindrance, bow your knee, and receive grace and mercy in time of need.

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