A few nights ago coming home from taking my kids to Taekwondo we pulled into the driveway with the car radio playing (in Spanish!) that old Gospel Spiritual, "It's me, it's me, it's me, oh Lord, standin' in the need of prayer..."
I hadn't thought of that song in years. Yet God reached down and like an arrow shot straight into my heart a message I needed to hear...
"It's not my mother nor my father...not my sister nor my brother...deacon nor the preacher, but it's ME, oh Lord, standin' in the need of prayer."
We stand in the need of your prayers!
The first of many personal weaknesses is my frequent participation in the "blame game." This of course is where everyone else is to blame for everything going wrong and life not being what I think it should be. It's always someone else's fault: it's the IMB's fault, our mission leaders, fellow missionaries, unresponsive churches, indifferent national brethren...my wife, kids, the heat, unfair policies...hey, even the dog gets blamed!
And yet, God speaks through an old gospel song...it's not really "them", they aren't the fault, it's ME, it's MEEEE, oh Lord, standin' in the need of prayer.
James 5:16 exhorts us to, "confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed..."
As we begin a new year, I have many sins to confess in my life...I need to be healed...will you pray?
My list includes: resentments, supressed anger, weariness, tired of the battle, longing to be elsewhere, lack of love for the people we are called to serve, laziness, spiritual dryness, passionless prayer and devotional life...
I don't mean to imply that God is not at work around us and in us. He is doing many wonderful things. I am indeed grateful for what I see are clear blessings and His presence and working in our lives.
But where is the joy I once knew in the Lord? Where is the passion for souls? The thrill of being one of his servants? What happened to the creativity and energy I used to have for serving Him? I don't know.
It's me, oh Lord, standin' in the need of prayer.
As depressing as all this might sound, we are not really depressed. God is good. We know that. It's more along the lines of what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10...
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (10) Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong..."
Beginning a new year, we need the Lord to refresh, renew, revive, rekindle, reconsecrate our hearts to Him. Will you pray for us? Will you pray that in our weakness, Jesus would be glorified?