Read Psalm 25:4-5
This is a series based on Carla McDougal’s new Bible Study, My Prayer Chair: A Living, Walking, Breathing Relationship With Jesus. As you read this, you are walking through her study with me. You might remember that I did the same thing with her first Bible Study, Reflecting Him. I don’t know how long this will be, but if you need to catch up, you can go to catagories and look under Book Reviews/My Prayer Chair.
Like Moses, we make excuses when God asks us to step out of our comfort zone and do extraordinary things that absolutely terrify you. In Carla’s case, she was being asked to lead and write a women’s Bible study.
In my case, God asked, over time, first to speak to a group of women on a topic dear to my heart; then to a writers group on how book reviewing and critiquing go hand-in-hand; and finally, to lead a prayer group which still takes momunmental effort because it’s way out of my comfort zone. But none of these things were done without prayer.
Carla begins her chapter speaking about the inspiration for the title of her Bible Study, My Prayer Chair. Her grandmother had a special rocking chair in which she prayed diligently. In reading that, I felt a bit of shame because I take God for granted and rush to His side when I have realized it, to crawl into His lap and hold on for dear life. I pray diligently, but in several spots, over the course of the day, and sometimes like the other day, in my own favorite chair in the living room. Sometimes, I even escape into the bathroom for private prayer.
While my daily, normal prayer is fine, sitting in my quiet living room and being still is by far the most intimate and where I worship God best. I have trouble praying in a large group, especially for a long period of time. Sometimes, I’m into it, and other times, I struggle. I hear every squeak of the chairs, every burp, every sniffle, and when the phone rings I hear it. I hear every intake of breath, and when we are asked to take turns praying the anxiety builds and I begin rehearsing what I am going to say. It’s never flowery or as nice as other prayers, but to speak what’s on my heart is too intimate. Then, there’s my other worship.
I write. It’s how I worship God. I write and I get out. Writing, like a sponge, is when I can wring out all the excess and make sense of the chaos of daily life, like what I am doing now.
I am writing this and it’s Friday. The television is off. It’s silent. I have a glass of Francis Coppola’s Pinot Noir Diamond edition. I followed Carla’s suggestion when she said to pray first, then read the required scripture. I asked God to reveal what He wants to reveal to me. And I am just basking in God’s presence right now. He’s looking over my shoulder as I write. I’m sure of it.
But is He pleased with my life?
Have you ever asked yourself that question? Is He pleased with my choices? Is He pleased with the every day normal that I live? Lately, I have been making excuses about missions, and until recently, kept it far from me. So I tossed my excuses to the ground with all the rest of the litter, and I commited to a short term missions trip next year to Honduras. Naturally, I also volunteered my husband. He didn’t even know of my desire, like I didn’t know of God’s prodding in his life to lead a men’s group.
I guess there is a lot of us Moseses out there, making excuses, living the way we want to live, instead of living the way God would want us to live.
It’s time to pick up my staff.
Are you making excuses to what God is calling you to do?