"The extent of prayer in one's life is a direct function of whether something else has been set up as more important than God." Ann Voskamp, at http://www.aholyexperience.com/
Wow. Ann speaks words of the Lord over me all the time and she doesn't even know me.
God uses Ann to speak to the deep parts in my heart and His timing is most often spot on.
Last night, as I settled into bed in the coolness of night, I started to pray. And within moments my spirit asked me, "Why have you waited until just now to come into His presence?" I was saddened that I had been BUSY all day with my own agenda. I was driven to get a project done. And I did get it done. And I LOVE it. But I never once spoke with Him while I worked on it. I never once felt the pull to pause and be with Him. And THAT is what saddens me so. How the "busy-ness" of the day can consume me so easily and quickly.
I had stopped and sat on the sofa and prayed with Taylor in the early evening. Bless her heart. School is so much work for her right now and I see her heart really taking a beating. After leaving for school at 7:50 a.m. and working all day at school, she comes home at 3:45 p.m. just to have a 30 minute break with a show and snack and then retreats to her room or the table to start working on it again. And she has been spending at least 2 to 3 hours each afternoon doing homework. With one chore, dinner, and a shower... there is no time for anything else. She doesn't like it. She is exhausted. "What is this?" she asks. "What kind of life is this?" And I responded with, "The life of a child." Really. Really? Am I going to just fall into that idea of the world that THIS is what life is for her right now? As the words slipped out of my mouth so easily and my heart stung with the sting of them, they didn't sound right. And I am not buying them. And I pray she doesn't either.
So we sat on the sofa and prayed. We prayed for her heart and for her mind. We thanked God He gave her a mind that can learn so easily. We thanked God for her heart that is willing and kind and loving and sweet. We prayed that she knows who she is, who she really is, and that it has nothing to do with how she takes a test and if she can remember LCF and GCM in math. We prayed God would recall what she had learned for her test today and that He would refresh her soul. And then we held each other.
And as I lied there in bed, wanting to find the Father's presence for a moment... I realized it was the first time I had sought Him... for me... for us... all day long. He came at the end. Sorrow. And yet He was there. Waiting. Ever so waiting. And He took me in... and I am ever so thankful. Thankfulness. Conviction.
"It's my own inflated sense of self-importance, the elevation of my work, my agenda, that keeps me from prayer- communion." Ann Voskamp
The words soak in. They penetrate deep.
Truth can sometimes hurt.
But truth always brings light... growth and freedom.
Now what do I do?
With these words?
Do I let them evaporate away in the heat of the day?
Or do I let them quench the thirst of my soul and bring me life?
"O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
where there is no water.
So I have looked to You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name."