On helplessness and shameless audacity

Lord, teach us to pray, they ask.

And he does.

In Luke 11, Jesus’ response to his disciples’ request begins and ends with the Father.

Our Father.

The one who pursues us and lavishes us with good gifts.

The one before whom we are helpless.

Dependent.

I am here today.

Raw.  Forced into honesty by two friends—one old, one new—who don’t believe me when I tell them that I am fine.  (Thank you, friends.)

It’s not that I’ve abandoned prayer lately.

It’s just that the words come so, so hard.

Only a few at a time.  Sometimes only one.

Help.

Hold.

No, no, no.  I can’t do this.

And, in my stronger moments, Jesus.

Just Jesus.

I’m content to camp out here.  To hear the word that my helplessness, my dependence is ok.  Not weakness, not lack of faith.  Just honesty.

But my Father is not done just yet.

You see, there is this matter of persistence.  Of boldness.  Of shameless audacity.

Of banging on doors at midnight.

The truth is, I am tired.

I am tired of asking and seeking and knocking.

I am tired of seeing through a glass darkly.

I am tired of asking and pleading and working for God’s kingdom to come on earth and seeing mess.

Mess, mess, mess.

And yet.

This matter of shameless audacity won’t leave me alone.

And so, once more, I pray for healing.  For deliverance.  For light to invade darkness.

I speak names of real, actual people.  Names I have spoken to Jesus a thousand times before.

Because I know who I am.  Helpless.  Dependent.

And I know who my Father is.  Powerful.  Patient.  Full of grace.

Lord, I believe.

Help my unbelief.

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