S76P6 – The posture of prayer: not an imposition

Phil. 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I was pretty new to the job, and there was a lot to learn.  Normally, I pride myself on being able to figure things out on my own, but that simply is not possible in all circumstances.  Particularly in that new position, there was very little I could figure out for myself.  One of the main issues was that decisions had to be made and executed very quickly, so there was not a lot of time to sit and consider the options. One had to know in that instant which way was best.  I had no choice but to reach out to others often for assistance, but a disconcerting pattern began to emerge.  Some members of leadership could be condescending or dismissive, and it made me feel like I was only a nuisance.  The result was that my pool of available resources shrank, putting more work on only a select few whenever I was in need or leaving me to guess at the answers.

Every single one of us has experienced this kind of dynamic between ourselves and leadership.  Perhaps it was with a parent or a teacher or a boss.  Perhaps it was with all of them.  The same dynamic can appear when we are requesting help from those who are subordinate to us. When we feel like we are being a bother it can make us think we are better off fending for ourselves and hoping for the best.  It also can make us take a job that should be spread among many and confine it to the few who work well with us.  In both situations, we become conditioned to think that seeking help is just a hassle.  There are people who think that about God today, that He does not care to be bothered with their petty issues and complaints.  The truth is that He invites us to take our concerns to him in prayer because He wants to listen and help.

Some of us grew up with fathers who were not available at times or at all.  Our Father in heaven, however, is the example of perfect availability as a parent and a leader.  It is not like He is busy doing other things but does not mind being interrupted by us.  God is actually waiting for us to take our cares and thoughts and fears and successes and praises to Him in prayer.  We are not a nuisance, and we are not a bother.  He wants to develop us spiritually and fill us up because it brings him more joy than we can comprehend.  As much as we want to approach him, his desire to be approached by us is infinitely greater.  The mercy seat is open, and we should feel welcome.  Father, help us to understand how you feel about our time in prayer with You, that we would know and remember that You sincerely desire to share that time with us.