I have discovered a dangerous posture of prayer…
It looks like that of Jacob Marley from the movie “Scrooge”; I am thinking specifically of the scene where Scrooge is sitting in his old, dusty chair holding a bowl of soup and a dry piece of bread. He becomes hauntingly aware of a presence making its way into his private, grumpy space; the presence of his dead business partner Jacob Marley.
Marley is wrapped in chains attached to weights of all shapes and sizes; he is shaking them before Scrooge in effort to warn him that his after-life will look similar if he does not change his ways.
My prayer life had begun to look and sound like Marley’s ghost.
Everytime I entered the secret place I would bring in my full collection of every person in pain and all the perplexities associated with their individual struggles; it is like every request gathered itself around me as I knelt…what an array of junk and damaged goods I had become!
I kept pumpng out physical and emotional energy to keep everyone going and so would approach Jesus with nothing of my own; with tired, weak flesh I could be found in the middle of a pile of cluttered noise.
O I know that we are to come to Jesus with everything that concerns us, but what happens when that is all that petition becomes? Anxious prayers for the purpose of “saving” others; prayer that has become more a source of ozygen to pain rather than for life without burden.
I have been learning that repetitive prayer can breed anxiety; it can keep alive in our hearts the very thing we are intended to lay down; trust in the Father becomes a luxury not found.
He desires ME.
My prayer closet was getting stacked full of requests! Heaps and heaps of heart cries mounting until I found myself appealing to God from the other side of the pile and wrestling to understand why I felt surrounded by fog.
The Word of God brought assurance of God’s unchanging nature, and love that could not be removed, but the fog remained.
Day after day my heart and soul ran to get through what I was sensing and not seeing, only to feel as though I was passing from life to death.
A heart in pain for others..okay I’ll be honest, pain for my family, my precious, precious family…how could I fall on my knees and leave them out of the rooom of my heart?
Eventually I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal the root of the shadow that surrounded.
I was hoarding.
Holding fiercely onto every request as though God could not be trusted to look after my loved ones.
It is spiritual hoarding…
I have learned something old in a new way.
Jesus wants the requests and pains of my heart but He desires my life first and always.
He is a Jealous God, a consuming fire and so He burned through my request heap in love to capture MY heart again.
See ya Later Marley, there ain”t no chains on me…