Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Evening Prayer 2

My God, you are worthy. Worthy of my full attention. Paul tells us we are to think about that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and excellent. The Hebrew writer tells us to fix our eyes on you.

You are these things, Father.

And yet, I approach you not in the confidence that the Hebrew writer exhorts us, but I talk at you—and my prayers become a rote litany of words. Artificial.

I did this tonight. Someone asked me to pray for them, and I talked at you. I hurled words into the air with little thought to where they were going or to whom I was speaking. And my spirit shrunk and shriveled because I realized the truth of the old adage “familiarity breeds contempt”.

To approach the throne with boldness does not mean to enter in arrogance. Arrogance causes me to approach the throne room on my own faulty merit, my own inflated sense of goodness. I enter using my own name.

And because I come in my arrogance my prayers feel hollow. The disconnect is sudden. I sense the space that looms between us. I feel the awkwardness—and then I am aware of how foolish I am.

Oh God, I am foolish. I. Am. Foolish. Foolish for being too familiar with you. I have mistaken familiarity with intimacy. My contempt is subtle—fed by self-deception.

Forgive me.

Forgive my foolishness and my arrogance. There is no place in your kingdom for either.

Oh my God, teach me to approach your throne.

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