Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prayer: Posturing Our Extreme Need of God

There are many ways to pray. 
There are many places to pray. There are many reasons to pray. 

As you read the passage below, ask yourself some questions: 

Since the beggar saw the physical Jesus, would his begging be considered an attitude of prayer? If so, what was his unique posture of prayer? Does that seem like prayer to you?  

Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” —Mark 10:46–47

Today I want to share a unique posture of prayer I found myself in this week - unexpectedly.

I don't know about you, but for the first forty years of my life, for various reasons and because of several sermons that I had heard about prayer and "quiet" time, I was under the assumption the only good Christian was one who woke up early and prayed at least an hour at a time. I am not sure where that notion came from, but it pursued me and found me wanting. For years, I struggled with the reality that I had never been a morning person and praying for one hour in one seating was a challenge.

A few years ago (I don't even remember why), I began praying throughout the day when things would come to my mind. It empowered my Christian life, supplying a wonderful open connection with God. Somewhere back there, it dawned on me that what I was doing was praying without ceasing. Never hang up. And that seemed much more attainable to a girl like me.

This past Tuesday, my mom was scheduled to have a heart procedure, so I came down to be with her and my dad. For those not in the know, my father is a double leg amputee, 72 years old diabetic with two prosthetic legs. This, in itself, creates all kinds of challenges though it is pretty amazing how he can get around for all that's against him. Walking long distances, however, are hard, so he uses a wheelchair (or his electric scooter when he is at home).

Sending mom in ahead of us to get registered, I helped dad get out of the car and into his wheelchair. After parking his car, I started to push him but the wheelchair was caught on something. A quick look told me that one of the rubber strips around the wheels had come off. Dad tried to stand up so that I could fix the wheel and toppled forward - almost falling. Bending my knees, I pushed him up.

In my heart of hearts, I quickly prayed,"God, I really need some help here." Thankfully, between me pushing and dad using his strength, we got him standing straight again. Within seconds, a lady in scrubs came out of nowhere and said, "You two look like you could use some help. I'll be right back." She had sized up our need without asking a thing.

She ran through the ER door and came back with a hospital wheelchair, helping my dad get situated in it. Thanking her profusely, I half-dragged, half-carried dad's broken wheelchair back to his car and put it in the trunk. When I came back to where dad was sitting, the lady was still there. Just talking to dad like she didn't have another thing to do. She opened the door of the hospital for us and then went her way. 

It was one of those "did I just see an angel" moments. I felt very safe and loved.

My posture of prayer was not a neat, unhurried bended knee early in the morning by my bedside. Well, my knees were bent, but in the act of keeping my father from falling over. Standing in the middle of a sidewalk at a hospital. Silently praying.

Still. God knew my need for Him was real and sent exactly what I needed. So is it the posture of prayer that is so important or simply the need for God?

Your story?