Of course, Tim, in a format like this, it is very difficult to convey one’s inner most heart and mind. Thank you for taking the time to dialogue back and forth in Connect. It is the only way that others like myself can gain clarity about what you are feeling so strongly.
To me, it is a beautiful thing that you feel burdened …
There is much in the scripture to exhort us to be diligent, faithful, and persevering in our petitioning of the Lord for the salvation of others.
I suppose part of the challenge I’ve experienced in regards to my inner life and prayer… is finding a balance.
There’s a very real tension between living in a a physical/material world and feeling spiritual burdens.
There is so much labour involved in living and staying afloat in this modern world…which doesn’t afford people much solitude…
Meanwhile, the spiritual born again person, experiences Biblical exhortations “to be in the world and not of the world”…”to set their affections on things above and not in the things of the world”.
I have struggled in my experience as a believer…
On the one hand, I haven’t wanted to be completely overwhelmed with the biblical reality of human brokenness and lostness…(there have been times when I have been…and it prevented me from functioning “normally”. The sorrow and grief…were so intense.
On the other hand, I know I have to apply myself diligently to spiritual realities with the intention of being sufficiently conscious, aware, spiritually awake. Awareness, is a needed state…to motivate me to seek the mercy of God consistently in prayer. (Prayer acts as a fulcrum between God’s Sovereignty…and my responsibility. It reminds me…if I don’t ask…I will not receive…while anchoring in the truth …God alone can soften and change hearts/lives.)
In essence, (in my own heart and life) I’ve determined to commit myself to earnest daily prayer … with the understanding …that this is what He wants me to do. (As an expression of my faith and confidence in Him.)
In prayer, I can our out my whole heart and soul in His presence.
Prayer is the safest place to experience a broken heart, to feel deep sorrow and grief …about the realities of this broken, sinful world.
For me, prayer is an extremely intimate activity. I have found very few contexts where I feel comfortable praying with others.
Having said that, I have asked God for prayer partners because I believe it is important to have other witnesses to God’s answers.
It builds us up in faith, hope and love.
In the last year, God has given me a wonderful prayer partner.
He brought an amazing Nigerian woman to the church I attend…
As I got to know her, I found out she rented a space in an unchurched community. Every Sunday evening, she would gathered there with her 10 year old daughter, to pray that God to have mercy on that particular community.
What a woman of faith, hope, love and prayer! She has graciously included me in that time of prayer…and it is a wonderful blessing to me…
We have not seen specific answers…but, we have confidence in God.
If He puts it in the hearts of His people to pray…it is because He is at work.