Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Prayer & Love (PrayerLife)

Leading worship at Redeemer

My #1 personal prayer request for several years now has been: God, produce your love in me.

I want to love as Jesus loves.

Two results of loving like Christ are:

1. Freedom from what others think of me or do to me.

2. Release from fear and anxiety.

#1 - Only a free person can do what Jesus did. He's dying on a cross, being tortured physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet in all this he thinks of his persecutors. He is dying for them! He has a 0% victimization attitude.; Only a free person can be this way.

#2 - The book of I John tells us that "perfect love casts out fear; there is no fear in love." The more fear, the less love; the more love, the less fear. Fear and love do not go together. So, the more of Christ's love becomes my heart, the less fearful and anxious I will be. 

My strategy is this:

1. I can't will myself into this.
2. God can produce this in me.
3. I choose to submit myself to God as my Shepherd. 

In a life of being shepherded by God I shall more and more "fear no evil." Why? Because "You are with me." This is the point where I have a choice, where I have a responsibility. I can choose this day whom I will follow and serve. My choice remains, as it is my only hope, God's presence.

Thomas Merton comes back again and again to the centrality of love. I like how he puts it here:

"In all these things I see one central option for me: to let go of all that seems to suggest getting somewhere, being someone, having a name and a voice, following a policy and directing people in “my” ways. What matters is to love, to be in one place in silence, if necessary in suffering, sickness, tribulation, and not try to be anybody outwardly. Not try to have a public identity."
Merton, Learning To Love: Exploring Solitude and Freedom (The Journals of Thomas Merton), p. 15)

Abandon yourself to God today in prayer. Ask God for a greater heart of love.