Thursday, September 8, 2011

If you can't say something nice...

So, remember last post when I said there was a wet, orange rug in my basement? It's still wet. (Also, it's still orange, but...). Well, it was dry for a minute, but now it is wet again and again and again. The rain just doesn't seem to stop. Sadly, this endless wetness makes it difficult for anyone to come and resolve the endless wetness.

Dear Lord, please don't let the appliances in the laundry room explode from wetness.

Do you think God gets tired of me praying stupidly for trivial things? I feel like I've done it a lot lately. I think He is typically pretty patient and I think He has a pretty good sense of humor. I also think He cares about the desires of our hearts and sometimes grants them - even when our wants are definitely wants and not needs.  Still, I should probably get my act together because lately many of my prayers seem a little too selfish and are definitely presented too selfishly.  Things like...

LORD! (Please note that I am too often stomping my foot and shouting in my "look at me right now!" little kid voice.)

Please let the basement stop flooding or at least keep the water off of my bedroom carpet.

Please don't let me crash this car full of my friends into the stupid drivers around me who keep slamming on their brakes and driving like they've never been in a car before.

Thanks for great friends. I've been with them for days and I'm barely tired of them at all.

Please don't let there be eleventy billion emails for me just because I took a couple days off.

Form the words Lord, I can't tell this story, I'm really busy living it.

Do I have to respond to all ten billion emails? (I suppose I should have asked for it not to be a lower number...)

Why the heck is it still raining? Can I get a rainbow up in here?

Please make people not be stupid jerks. I can be patient with stupid, but it's very hard not to yell at them when they are jerks.

Fix it! I don't know what to do. Now what? Please? Please! Make somebody else do it!

You do it!


And then the echoes of a happily Lutheran childhood: "Amen. Amen means yes, yes it shall be so." And I seem to interpret this as: I'm asking because I know you CAN. I've not considered whether you should. I want it, therefore I demand it! Admittedly, this may not be my best theology and it certainly wasn't what they meant for me to absorb in that amazing little school I grew up in.

Back to the point though, I've been reconsidering today the idea that  "we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." (Check out the awesomeness at Romans 8:26).

My thoughts are: It's a good freakin' thing the Spirit does that. Deep right? I think the point tonight is that I'm So. Not. Deep. While some of these prayers and many others like them may not be wrong, they are still not well expressed. And, I think I've often thought about this verse too much as an emergency backup plan for when you're feeling so desperately broken you don't even know what kind of help to ask for. I do think it is for those moments. However, I'm thinking - hoping - that it also means that God is paying attention to the little girl who stomps her foot and shouts and the Spirit intercedes to protect her from herself.  The Spirit can pass on an interpretation of that request that will be presentable to the Lord and useful to the spoiled, stomping, screaming brat who is too stubborn and stupid to even know the right way to ask, not to mention the right things. The brat who doesn't realize that she's definitely too broken to be presentable before the Lord on her own even when she is feeling lippy instead of desperate.

I've been more mature and thoughtful about prayer in the past. I remember it. What happened to me? I'm going to try and come on back around to thinking before I speak. Reverence is good. Thumper was on to something with that whole: "if you can't say something nice" business and I think it should probably be extended not only to saying nice things, but also saying things nicely. (Incidentally, I'm pretty sure throwing in a please usually isn't enough.) Hard.

I'm going to go say "nothing at all" now...

Coming soon though, thoughts on an amazing, adventure filled weekend away with friends... And possibly a list of my personal road trip musts.

1 comment:

  1. Ok... so this is ONE MORE REASON I miss living with you! Because I have these discussions with friends here and no one gets me.

    But seriously... I have just had discussions on what is/is not ok to pray for. Obviously I pray about everything (i.e. portable dishwasher and purple "clicky clacks" - that last one I was very young) and I think it's great to do so. My philosophy is that God knows what you are thinking so you might as well open up a dialogue.

    And if David can pray that people get wiped out completely (Ps. 109) and that babies get dashed against the rocks (Ps. 137) then I'm not sure anything is off limits. Pray away! :)

    I do agree that reverence is good. And necessary. He is, afterall, GOD. But He's big enough to deal with our attitude problems.

    Anyways... those are my two cents (ok... maybe a few more than two). Hope it made enough sense.



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