Being a Tool

I’ve been thinking lately about how our prayers give away our real theology. The words we use to God can say not only a lot in themselves (especially if it’s one of those long prayers), but a lot about how we view God and relate to Him.

Sacred Agents should talk to God a lot. I mean, we want to represent Him well, don’t we. We can’t be witnesses to something we haven’t experienced, so we want to know Christ well not only for our own sakes but also to be able to introduce others to Him.

But I’ve noticed how much my own prayers begin with “Lord, help me to…” Do yours? When we pray like that we’re really putting ourselves at the centre and seeing ourselves as the prime movers. And God as our helper. He is, of course. It’s definitely not wrong to ask God for help!

But so many of my prayers are shaped like this, I think it gives away that I see prayer as a tool to help get things done, and truth be told, I can treat God’s Spirit as a tool to power my mission. But it’s God’s mission. And far better for us to see ourselves as instruments surrendered to God for His use.

Am I just playing with words here? No, I think our words reveal our hearts. So a simple spiritual discipline for me as a sacred agent is this: To try to ask the Lord open questions. Instead of requests that basically require a “Yes Andrew” or “No Andrew” – or possibly “Wait Andrew”, I’m trying to ask Him questions like “Lord, how can I be of service to you today?” “Who do you want me to particularly notice?” “What are you wanting to teach us, Lord?” And hopefully, through the discipline of the words, the heart is gradually shaped.

Can you be a good sacred agent without being a complete tool? Well, not in that sense.

Posted on August 1, 2018, in Church, Discipleship, Spiritual Formation. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Frank Tucker 2

    Great Andrew.

    Frank T

  2. I have always believed that open ended questions are the best way to interact with people— questions that don’t simply require a yes or no answer. I find that they are usually demeaning to the person. But I have never thought of these questions being directed toward God; and in my prayers!
    “Lord, how can I be more ‘open ended’ in my interactions with you?”

  3. i am old and my prayers have become, thank you for what you are doing, thank you for what you have done, whatever you are doing now i trust you.

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