I watched Little House on the Prairie last night. It happened to be an episode I had never seen before. The Ingles have a son, James. James was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He walked into a store and was shot walking into a robbery. All the doctors, friends, and family of Charles Ingles told him to give up there was not any hope for his son. Charles believed there was hope. Everyone else thought he was crazy and that his faith was going to let him down.
He took off with his son and camped with his son to meet with God. Charles built an altar and prayed there for his son. He did something radical. And in the eyes of others what he was doing was weird, strange, and crazy. Yet, he believed God was going to restore the health of his son. So he assumed a posture of prayer by faith that God was going to do something miraculous.
Prayer is much more than ourselves. Prayer is so much more than the desires of our hearts. I know for me that way too often prayer becomes more about me than it is about God. There are times in life when circumstances can seem so desperate. Those are the times the prayers I seem to speak that tend to be more about me than God.
Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ‘Go jump in the lake’—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it’s as good as done. That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.” (Mark 11:22-25, The Message).
In the TV show, Charles took a radical posture of prayer. One that others laughed and mocked with their own lack of faith and pity. This has made me consider my own posture of prayer. In this life of faith, have I made prayer and my walk of faith after Jesus Christ a place of safety and a refuge for me? Have I resigned myself to the four walls of my living room and chosen to keep Jesus to myself here?
I believe there is more to this life than what I am living today. No, I’m not a teenager or a young single college student any longer with the world ahead of me. I have a family. I have bills to pay and responsibilities that must be taken care of. Yet, I believe there is so much more than the safe place I now call home. There is a mission, a purpose, and a plan for me – in the world I live. I don’t want to be like the one who buried his talent we read about in Matthew 25:14-28. I want the Father to be pleased with what I have done with the gifts he has given me to use for His purposes.