About two years ago there was a young adult church service I would occasionally attend on Sunday nights. I really liked the way this pastor preached. It was inspirational and convicting. It made me want to live better and even made me change certain habits. He could talk forever (and his sermons were often 45-60 minutes) and I was still clinging to every word he said; I didn’t want him to stop. I was feeling a lack of spirituality recently. Church wasn’t filling me in any way (There are some who might say that church isn’t supposed to fill you, but this is a debate for another time). I needed a word, the good news of the gospel, something.
Around this time a friend posted a question on facebook asking what pastors we have liked or been inspired by. I immediately thought of Phil. This post that I just happened to see within seconds of being posted was what I needed. I wanted to hear that good news again and immediately went to iTunes to download the podcasts of some of the sermons. It definitely was what I needed and here is one snippet from the message I listened to the other night.
1. I forgot how he got to this point, but he suggested that we pray this simple prayer, “God, show me where I am denying your power.”
This struck me in some way I can’t explain. On one hand it makes us want to be prideful and say, “I’m not denying God’s power, I am doing what he is telling me to do.” On the other hand it is somewhat convicting. It is almost as if we are afraid to pray this because that would be acknowledging that we are denying God’s power and that something needs to change. Furthermore perhaps we are afraid of being shown that and having to face it, and then change because it has been shown to us so clearly.
Being in seminary and pursuing the vocation of ministry are things that I have done because God has called and led me here. Through doing this I feel I am accepting God’s power. But then I realized that is not what this prayer was saying. Perhaps we can follow where God has called and led us, but maybe there is some way in which we are still denying God’s power. This one prayer that Phil offered has me moving inside in ways I can’t explain. I hope to be able to continue to reflect on this and see where I am denying God’s power.
I’d love to hear any thoughts this sparked in you.