Sunday, March 14, 2010

Partnering in Prayer - A Lenten Devotion - Day 25 - "GRACE!"

Day 25 – Sunday

Well, there you have it! I’m disqualified! I knew it would happen eventually—why did I even bother trying?

You may have said that to yourself at one point or another, over the past 25 days. Maybe you signed your covenant card to pray for an hour a day, and a week into it, you missed a day. You blew it!

At least, I hope some of you did…because I did today! This morning, I got up at 5:00 to pray, and couldn’t stay up. So I set the alarm for 5:30, and went back to sleep. I’ve been pretty tired lately. I haven’t been getting enough sleep, and really need a good long day off, which I haven’t had in a while. We get up at 6:30 on Sunday mornings, so we can be at church (hopefully) at 7:45. So getting up at 5:30 would have been just fine.

The alarm went off at 5:30, and I got up to pray. I had my devotion book, my prayer journal, and my Bible. I was all settled in and praying (out loud, so I could wake up better), when I found my speech slurring. Yes, I was actually falling asleep mid-sentence. I felt horrible about it! How could I have created a situation in which I was that sleep-deprived that I couldn’t stay awake for an hour and pray?

Then I felt the gentle presence of the Holy Spirit, saying to me, “I have seen your devotion. Now get some sleep.” So I did. I set the alarm clock for another hour of sleep, and awoke refreshed and ready to preach two sermons at church, then preach at an ordination service at another church, and then teach a Bible study back at Antioch.

The point is this: God actually cares about my health, and not just how much time I’ve spent in prayer. Yes, I joined a covenant prayer group, with you as part of it. But if God will forgive, I figure you will too, probably. Maybe you’ve disqualified yourself somewhere along the way, too. At least, I hope some of you did, because that’ll make me feel better. I do believe that God wants me to pray for an hour a day—it was that inner prompting that made me commit to it in the first place, and the same inner prompting that made me ask you to join me. But I also believe that God gives grace. Praise God for His grace, because without it, we wouldn’t be able to approach Him at all!

So tonight before I go to bed, I’m setting my clock to 5 AM. I can’t wait for the alarm to go off, so I can get on my knees and make up for lost time!

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