The local church I attend holds an annual prayer and fasting time at the start of each year. Today is Day Two of the usual five-day period.
Honestly, I don’t have a hard time fasting. I typically eat one meal a day during the workweek as it is.
I do have a hard time praying though.
Unlike my wife, I typically pray short prayers, and more often I fall into the temptation of putting a disproportionate amount of focus on what I can do about situations, and forget to actually lift them up in prayer.
My stoic disposition leaves plenty of room for faith, which—if I am reading my Bible right—should be the driver of all things I do if I were to please God.
Instead, my soul is quieted, albeit temporarily and unsatisfactorily, by thinking solely about actions to take, specifically those within my control. I forget that believing in God’s sovereignty should generate faith that leads to hope-filled action—whether for my daily pursuits, dealing with challenges, or working towards our dreams and aspirations.
I still wrestle with it, and there are plenty of days when it is difficult for me to square my belief in personal accountability for my actions and God’s grace and sovereignty over everything, specifically so that the latter would not result in fatalistic or passive behavior.
With these thoughts, I wrote the short poem (and personal reminder) below:
Grow My Love For Thee
My heart is distracted by plenty of things,
Thoughts and desires that don’t include Thee
At the center of them: Me, me, me
Oh, how tiring it can all be
Crowns and accomplishments that don’t satisfy
Noble intentions, but empty and dry
Without Thee and Thy Truth they are groundless and bare
Buildings—hollow—firmly planted on air
O, God, would You hear and answer my plea
Each waking day, grow my love for Thee
Let me learn the joy of sitting at Thy feet
That all my pursuits may, with You, be complete