When God Fights for Us
Over the years my prayers and prayer life have morphed into something I'm content with and even cherish. When I was younger I had this unrealistic ideal of what my prayer life should look like. I envisioned spending hours in the morning on my knees, crying out for the world was God's standard. I had the same delusion for my quiet time. I thought I needed to sit and mediate for extended times and memorize scripture in order to qualify as "good enough", a ridiculous standard that quite frankly I believe is sent from the pit of hell to discourage many followers of Christ.
I do set my alarm early most days to hang out with God. The amount time varies based on my schedule and I have learned to accept that God is not sitting with a checklist making sure I do all the right things. Instead, I experience the grace He gives as He honors my efforts with His greatness. I've come to realize all sorts of things come into play that affect my desire to spend time with God: fighting a cold, lack of sleep, hormones that threaten to put me on a rampage to kill the world, and often times it's the enemy trying to keep me from The One Who Loves Me Most. So despite there being many factors affecting my time with God, I love and relish the unstructuredness of my time with Him. I honestly hate the term "quiet time". I realize some well meaning and studious person came up with this term in an attempt to encourage people in spiritual disciplines, but for me, it doesn't begin to describe my set aside time to talk with God. My time with Him is anything but quiet as I often am venting my frustration to Him, crying out from my heart's pain and confusion, or just thanking Him for His goodness. There are several different books I'm reading at any given time, I've started a prayer journal to keep track of all the amazing ways God is moving on my behalf and the behalf of those I love. And there is this computer I'm writing on. So my set aside time with Him looks different from day to day and will not fit into any mold.
*** A couple days ago I felt God nudge me to share the new prayer He has placed on my heart and has blown me away by answering prayers and lifting burdens, but I just didn't seem to have time to write about it. Then this morning I woke up and just wasn't enjoying my quiet morning and felt led to write; not only to share how faithful God has been but also to remind anyone reading this that God is not formulaic. He doesn't expect you to look like the "ideal Christian"- whatever the heck plastic, fake looking thing that is. Instead, He longs for us to spend time with Him and will honor us by giving us the desire and self control to establish the spiritual disciplines that grow us in character and purify our hearts.
So a while ago my heart was struggling with something I knew God was telling me to pray for and believe Him for. It seemed impossible but I knew that God had asked me to enter into a time of prayer and intercession and fasting. It was great. It was hard. I found myself lusting after an apple core that was in my hand from making snack for the girls I watch. If you've never fasted for spiritual reasons the only way I can describe it is it's like living on sacred ground. For me I hear God more clearly and see Him moving in ways I don't normally noticed. It's not all unicorns and rainbows because it is a discipline so by its very nature is difficult to do, but for me my faith is strengthened.
As I was ending this little time of fasting, the weight of my prayer started to threaten to become so
heavy it would crush my vulnerable heart. In a moment of tears and accusations of being asked too much of, I simply pleaded with, or more frankly told God He needed to fight for me. That I have done all my meager efforts and I need Him and His perfectness to fight for me and this thing on my heart because if He didn't, then the only conclusion is I had missed Him in a way that was terrifying. And you know what, He came through for me. And then I screwed up. Lost my temper with one of the people I care for most in this world and didn't know what to do to make it right and simply told God I need Him to come through for me and fight for me... and He did. I found the words to apologize and express what my heart had been trying to say in the first place and I was given grace I don't deserve and forgiven by this person. Then I forgot to file some paperwork and needed God to come through for me, and He did. "I need You to fight for me." "I need You to come through for me, cuz if You don't I sink in the deep waters of faith You've asked me to enter into." Yes, I will continue to do my part. I will study. I will have set aside prayer time. I will chit chat with God throughout the day and do my best to be aware He is always with me. I will do these things because He has asked me to because they are what's best for me. I will not do these things in order to get God to bless me or to get His approval. Instead, I will trust Him to fight for me and trust He is moving heaven and earth on behalf of me because I am His daughter and the one He loves. I will trust He hears my prayer: "Lord Of The Angel Armies, I need You to fight for me. I need You to come through or I'm a goner."