with and without

Henri Nouwen wrote, “Without prayer I become irritable, tired, heavy of heart, and I lose the Spirit who directs my attention to the needs of others instead of my own. Without prayer, my attention moves to my own preoccupation.  I become cranky and spiteful and often experience resentment and a desire for revenge.” (from Prayer by Philip Yancey, Zondervan (c) 2006).

Today I am choosing to keep irritability at bay.  It hasn’t been easy. Little things have come up, like nettles sticking me in the arms. I can’t find them to wash them away and in the meantime every time I find one and touch it, I feel irritated again.

No one is really at fault for my reaction–that isn’t true.  I am at fault.  I placed expectations on certain things today that were unrealistic.  With all the discernment I have there are times when I may as well not have any.

So, I pray.  Father, this isn’t Your Spirit at work in me today.  It is mine.  Please wash away my irritability, my self-righteous disappointment.  Pour over me the balm of Your peace, Your joy, Your precious Spirit. Open my eyes to the world You created and help me to breathe in Your Sweet Spirit and to exhale all the bitterness of me. Amen.

And I go on.  If I am to walk with God, I need to acknowledge what and who I would be without Him.  With God, I have the opportunity to see people and all of creation as God designed it.  To take in each moment from His point-of-view, an eternal point-of-view.

When I try to go through the day without time with God, I am quickly angered, disappointed, rude, frustrated, easily provoked, and deeply defensive.  There is nothing Biblical in those attributes.

So, I pray.  Father God, nothing in me right now would be found in Your character.  My ire is up and I am ready for a fight.  Please meet me here.  I don’t want to take another step unless it is in sync with You. Remove my anger, replace it with grace.  Remove my disappointment and replace it with mercy.  Remove my rudeness and frustration, and replace them with kindness and peace.  Remove my defensiveness and replace it with a humble spirit.  Amen. 

I love that whenever I find myself out of sorts I can bring the disjointed pieces to God, who will help me by bringing order to my heart.  This God I love, He wants to do the same for you.  Where do you need prayer today?  Where do you need to walk with God and where do you need to go without the world’s perspectives?

Take courage dear heart, God knows.  Just come to Him and invite Him into where you are and ask Him to lead you to where you will go next, with Him.

Blessings to you.

About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
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