It’s the “Gotcha God”


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Dear Heavenly Father, without you I am nothing.  I am less than nothing.  I am worthless.  Yet with you I am everything.  You make me whole.  You make me more than whole.  You make me everything I am.  Every time I look away from you I go down deep.  Show me how to look at you always.  Lift me up always.  Make me worthy.  I beg of you, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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I was taught how to pray.

I was Chief Prayer writer at Junior School aged ten years old.  Special Assembly and a special prayer needed … ?  I could knock-out a great prayer faster than you could ask for forgiveness.

Our Father and all that?

Old school.  Does for everyday common-or-garden Assemblies.  But when you have a biggie-occasion then you need a proper prayer!   You need to be really contrite and servile … need to set the scene before the punchline …   And Our Father just doesn’t cut it.  Our Father is so familiar it’s an institutional prayer – a paid-for prescribed prayer.

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And that, my friend, doesn’t move mountains.  That doesn’t stir a worthless sinner to action.  Doesn’t give the right vibe.

But I am worthless, I am nothing, I am less than nothing …?

There’s no logic there – no reality … it’s all just words.  BUT what fine words!  Without you I am everything!  Grabs you down deep and keeps squeezing!  Make me worthy! That’s MORE than just aspirational – that’s what it’s all about!   Getting back a little ego – a sense of self!  And then the wrap-up: the “in Jesus’ name” footer.

Gotta do it – gotta close with that – everytime!  It’s expected.  But more than that – it means it’s gonna happen – it’s the “Gotcha God” – the one REALLY important bit that makes God do “it”.

So leave that bit out … and it’s all just a waste of time.

God won’t hear me, won’t act upon it, won’t be moved at all.  So always the “in Jesus’ name” – or else we are all wasting our time – kidding ourselves – doing it for us not for The Kingdom.

You don’t get to be Chief Prayer Writer at ten without listening well.  Take it from me – I was there – I was that writer!

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I saw someone I love begin each day for as long as I knew them with “Thank you Lord for another fine day – give me (this and that and the other) so I may serve you well.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

And then they didn’t.  There were no fine days.

Just days that were grey and pain-filled.  A God that wasn’t delivering as God always had.  A bible now dusty that remained open at the last verses-read.  The bible unloved just as the one I loved was unloved by God.

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Why study and praise when God isn’t listening anymore?

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I saw a lost faith that wasn’t lost at all.

Just scattered somewhere by a depression that swept through this loved one and left only hopelessness behind .. and “Why me?” … and “What’s the point?” .. and “I can’t do this anymore” …   A depression that needed love not a remote God … that needed love not fine words of prayer … that needed love not a bible of printed duty and obligation …

I wrote no special prayers.  I write no special prayers now.  I am is enough.

This loved one needed relationship.  Needed You are tired, so sleep gently”.  Needed reassurance they were okay even though they were dying.  Needed to be safe in being vulnerable.  Needed a new language of intimacy.  And a remote God “without whom I am nothing” doesn’t cut it.  Never does.  Never will.  Words of praise or contrition to a remote anything will never really cut-it.

I loved that loved one in their pain and hopelessness of depression.

We needed no fine spoken words or spoken thanks or spoken forgiving and giveness.  Words are words but being is much more.  Just like I Am.

Being is all.

It is who I am and what I am in every second.  It is my vulnerability and pain, my joy and excitement, my laughter and silliness, my weariness and irritation … my connection.  Being is my all – and my all is MINE … I get to choose who I am – and until I learn that …

I have learned nothing.

And my God cannot GIVE me that (time after time after time) – I have to take it and live it and be it – I have to become who I am …

I have to own who I am.

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