Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pray to Be Interruptible (PrayerLife)

Life is a series of interruptions and choices. One gets interrupted, then chooses whether to entertain the interruption or not.

Some of the interruptions are God-opportunities. I think most God-opportunities come by way of an interruption. It goes like this. 

1. I have my day "mapped out." 
2.The phone rings. 
3. So much for my map. 

When this happens don't resent it. Instead, weigh it. Is it from God, or not? If not, dismiss it. If it is, follow it. That is, follow the Spirit's leading.

I'm thinking of something that happened on a Sunday morning at Redeemer. We have a circle of prayer in the back of the sanctuary before the God-event begins. Starting time is officially 10:30. God, however, refuses to go by this. The Spirit of God is hovering over the sanctuary hours before this, when the first person arrives to open up the building, and when the worship team does its sound check. 

I stood with our prayer leaders and shared that God told me that, on this particular Sunday morning, I was to preach first, and we would worship afterwards. I was not clear on how the worship would look after the preaching. In our context this kind of confession not only does not freak people out, it actually encourages them because of their trust that God will show up and make his ways clear to us. 

10:30 came. I was on the worship team playing guitar. People stood up and began to sing. And dance. Some were shouting praises. My plan was that we'd do this song, and then I'd preach. Instead, I looked at our worship leader Holly and said, "keep playing." Because "worship" began before it was supposed to! It was explosive, dynamic, moving. God interrupted my plans. He had his way. This is always good.

"Interruptibility" is a mark of a Jesus-follower. It's like being in an army. Your commander comes just as you are about to fall asleep and says, "Time to move - now!" And you move. People who can't have their plans interrupted are not fit to serve in the Kingdom of God.

Henri Nouwen wrote that he used to complain about his life being interrupted until he realized that the interruptions were his life. This is not only a great and adventurous way to live, it is the only way to live since interruptions are the norm. 

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21)

Pray to be interruptible.