As we continue to pray and fast in preparation for Victory Sunday, I think it is pertinent to ask what shall we pray for on this day. I wish to awaken within each person their needs, physical, emotional, mental, and above all spiritual needs. What is the mindset that most of us come to service with? Sunday mornings, though it is to be a celebration of Christ and a time of sanctuary in Him away from the hustle and bustle of life, can at times also become part of the hustle and bustle. Many people will enter into a service with a high heart rate from rushing around and dealing with stress. Those who have positions with responsibilities in the church may be tired or stressed. And let’s face it, just because we are at church, it doesn’t mean that everyone is ready and willing to love everyone. All of these things add frustration and distraction from the very reason we have come to church so that when the service finally begins, we are not always prepared and ready to encounter the Holy Spirit.
This frustration leads our mind into a place where we are struggling over the behavior of other people. We are thinking about how we wish other people would act whether it was the car cutting us off on the way to church or our kids not wanting to get out of bed or the argument we had with our spouse on the way. It could be any number of things, but all of these get us to start thinking of what we need or want from others. We want them to be nice. We want them to cooperate. We want them to stop yelling. We want them to drive courteously, etc.
This is a huge hindrance to worship because our focus should not be on what we want from others, but what we need from the Lord. Jesus said this:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (NIV)
Everyone is poor in spirit. We are spiritually bankrupt without the presence of God in our life. So we might think Jesus is saying that everyone is blessed because everyone is deplete of righteous spirituality without Him. But this is not the case. Those who are blessed are those who are fully aware of how empty they are without Christ. The blessed are those who are fully aware that they do not have the wisdom, the power, the discipline on their own to produce the abundant life God desires for us. It is not that we are completely helpless. We can create a good life, but there is always an area here or there that is void of joy, fulfillment, and peace. The more we realize that we need the Lord, the more power we receive. The Kingdom of Heaven represents the power of God’s laws and principles applied to our life. We need Him to help us in our relationships; to help us to find peace in the storms; to help us to find joy in hardship; to help us to find purpose. The more we are convinced of our need for Him in specific areas of our life, the more power we shall receive.
What are some of the areas of your life where you are fully aware of your need for Him?