I rebel: Prayer is an act of Rebellion

We have been taking the Perspectives course, the main text is one I read in my freshman year of college, just over 17 years ago!  I was a missions major, and so much of what I learned in my degree is permanently in my soul.

You know how life is though don’t you?  It’s prone towards the tendencies of our culture.  While daily in my heart I hear the cries of suffering,  darkness and lostness; I’m still prone towards an over-full schedule and late nights making Ikea wish lists.

A Stirring in My Soul

Do you know this struggle too?  Deep in your soul KNOWING God has called you to make his name known among the nations, and struggling with the day to day responsibilities of your life?  In my life it is working, educating my children, keeping my kids in clean clothes, bedding and fed.

I feel certain God has given me this incredible calling in motherhood, and my husband and I are certain the Lord has led us to be present with our children and to educate them ourselves.  We know that God has given us skills, talents and experiences he can use to provide for our needs.  To be honest though, most of the time those few things feel like too much.

It is too hard

I’ve been prone to anxiety over the past 5 years.  Some of that anxiety, I now realize, is rooted in my disobedience.  You see, as one saved by grace, I am called to make disciples.  Please do not think I am saying that raising children isn’t discipleship, because it should be.  The call to disciple my children and the call to disciple the nations are not mutually exclusive, it isn’t an “either/or” choice.

It is all too much because, once again, it’s me trying to make things happen in my own power, logic and strength.  The Holy Spirit at work in me, in my husband will work out details that I can’t figure out.  “Will we be missionaries?  How will we take care of our family?  How do we figure out all these details?”  As we remain humble, faithful, and obedient to Christ whatever details the Lord has for us will become clear.

Rebellion against the Status Quo

While doing our homework one week I found myself burdened, crying and confused about what we are supposed to do about the fact that 6,000 -7,000 people groups have ZERO witness of Jesus Christ, meanwhile I don’t even know where our next meal will come from.  So perfectly orchestrated, I found the answer in my textbook.  An article written by David Wells Prayer: Rebelling Against the Status Quo go read it.  It is a game changer, when we look at the life of Christ, his example in prayer, the world around us and the character of our God we find the answer is prayer.

Wells says that the reason we struggle in our prayer lives not because we are weak-willed, but because we have a poor understanding of prayer.

“What then is the nature of petitionary prayer?  In essence, it is rebellion – rebellion against the status quo, the state of the world in it’s sin and fallenness.  It is the absolute and undying refusal to accept as normal what is completely abnormal.  It is the rejection of every agenda, every scheme, every opinion that class with the normal that God original established.  Our petitionary prayers are an expression of the unbridgeable chasm that separates Good from Evil, a declaration that Evil is not a variation on Good but it’s very opposite.” 

 

I do not have to spend my time trying to figure out which political agenda to align with, or which social justice cause to take up arms with.  Yet,  I will still rebel against the status quo.

I Rebel

I rebel, by Hernando Melo

They cut this line from the trailer out of the film, but it resonates in my soul.  I don’t accept that the Lord intended for me to eat genetically modified food, drink fluoridated water.  Black Lives Matter, Paternalism is not the pattern established in the Garden of Eden, No one should be trafficked, the list of WRONGNESS is endless.  I rebel against that, and I don’t have to worry about what the right response is, or try to craft a perfect “in the middle” response.  I don’t have to alienate people on social media with my ideas on what the right response is to each social injustice, or every sin.

Wells says “that petitionary prayer flourishes when we believe two things:

  1. God’s name is hallowed too irregularly, his kingdom has come to little and his will is done too infrequently.
  2. God himself can change the situation.”

I believe those things.  Prayer is Rebellion against the ways of this world, the political systems, the generational sins, the injustice, oppression, violence and hatred.  I rebel.  I pray.

Pray

Unwanted babies?  Marginalized people groups?  Corrupt government?  I used to cry “Come quickly Lord Jesus!” thinking it was the correct spiritual response.  Surrounded by brokenness, pain and sin, I do long to be with the Lord and be done with this world.

He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”  

So this is what I’m teaching my children: pray the God will send more workers into his fields.

The Lord isn’t coming until his words and plan are fulfilled, ” And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”  Matthew 24:14

If you look to Revelation 7, you will see that people from every nation and tribe and people and nation, are represented around the throne.  Jesus is waiting for us to obey his command and make disciples of all ethne.  We may be tempted to pause, define, debate all this entails.  Or we can pray.

Join the Rebellion: Pray

Join the Rebellion

We don’t need to take up arms to make a difference.  The Lord may not even lead us to the 10/40 Window.  That does not mean he calls us to be silent.  No, he calls us to petitionary prayer.  While I may want to March against Monsanto, I’ll make more of a difference in prayer. Let us now grow weary as we pray, let us be encouraged in our petitions by the words of Christ.

 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Luke 18:1-8

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