Posted by: alliehope | March 17, 2008

Holy Week 2: Monday

Normally, I’m ambivalent about Mondays. Sometimes I think they suck, other times I’m excited, since they represent the start of a brand-new week. This Monday is a little different, though. It’s the Monday of Holy Week, and it’s also St. Patrick’s Day (at least on the calendar, anyway).

I find myself thinking about what my pastor said yesterday about praying desperate prayers, and it seems to fit the chronology of where Jesus was during this last week of His life. Let’s pick up on the story in Matthew 21:12-22.

After the celebration outside of Jerusalem, He has something of a nuclear meltdown, throwing out the moneychangers and those selling animals to sacrifice in the temple. The jealous teachers of the law overheard what was going on, and the praises He was given by the local kids, and turned on Him. Jesus answers them, then heads back to Bethany to chill for the night.

The next morning, His actions get a little strange. He’s looking for fruit on a fig tree, and curses it, not finding anything. I read that passage sometimes and think, “What the…. just happened here?”

But maybe, just maybe, this isn’t about the fig tree. Maybe this is about faith, the kind of faith needed to pray what my pastor, whom I mentioned earlier, called “desperation prayers”. I was convicted of this yesterday. So often my prayer life revolves around what’s going to make me comfortable and happy, and I don’t take the time to appreciate the magnitude of the privilege I have to come to the throne of God through Christ.

Thus, praying desperate prayers doesn’t come easily to me, unless I’m in desperation about something. I thought hearing that yesterday that the Christian life is supposed to be about that desperation, and then thought, “Whoa, wait a minute. You’re saying that our emotions are always supposed to be on the edge of crumbling about something, that we’re not supposed to rejoice in the Lord?” The Holy Spirit cautioned me then to wait, to hear him out.

I’m glad I did. Now I know that that wasn’t what he meant. What he was saying, and what Jesus was saying about having faith and not doubting in prayer are very much the same thing: desperation prayers, prayers for things we might think impossible, require a whole lot more faith than the “God, please bless so&so” kind of prayers. I can only pray, desperately, for that kind of faith, knowing that it honors God to approach Him that way.

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