PrayerPoints ~ Friday, February 12th

Ash Wednesday_m

Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 52

“Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others.” Psalm 52:7

As I read through this Psalm, no one in particular came to mind. Until I got to the above line.

Then I came to my mind.

And I wondered,  “how close am I getting to either of these two points?” Indeed, they are related but they stand alone just as powerfully. I can trust in my own wealth. And I can also grow strong by destroying others. Keeping both of those in check is a full-time job.

I have been studying for a business degree for about 16 months. I am on the home stretch with only 8 weeks left. Woohoo! It has been a lot of work. It’s been interesting to consider little businesses (like mine) and huge multinational corporations. In the business world, it is easy to see how people grow strong by destroying others. But in my little world, my words can do it too.

What am I chasing after and who am I crushing in the meantime? Sometimes I think of the rich and famous and powerful in this world and how they are being selfish little piggies. But more often I reflect on my own actions and my own heart and the struggles I have with stuff.

What about you? Have there been things you have pursued so intensely that you have crushed others in the process?



Keeping It Real

When was the last time you had an honest heart-to-heart conversation with someone you trusted? My prayer is that you have a person (or two) with whom you can share a deep burden and be real about how things are going in your life. Sometimes I get caught up in what I want my life to look like or what I think it ought to look like that I occasionally misrepresent my reality by not sharing my struggles. And sometimes it is easier to not reveal the struggles and stresses in my heart. But if I only mention my “woohoo moments” then people who don’t know me well have no idea that I have many moments when I blow it or they are unaware of things that I am “in limbo” on.

Where is the balance?

It is hard to know what to share, how much to share, with whom to share, and when to share it. I certainly can’t share everything all the time. I don’t know that it’s wise and it would take all of my day! But I do know that a part of being in and creating a sense of community is sharing my struggles as well as my joys. We are imperfect people living amongst imperfect people in an imperfect world. We each have recurring struggles and sins — sins we cannot seem to shake. Some of those sins are even addictions. Sometimes it’s downright ugly. Usually so.

Some of the power of a stronghold is released when it is brought out into the light. Confession brings embarrassment and shame at times but it also can foster accountability. Some struggles are evident but the secret ones are probably the most damaging. So be careful to not invest all your energy on spiffying up your outward appearance. Allow God full access to transform your heart. Be willing to be humbled by confession–it doesn’t always need to be to a person–sometimes a confession is only meant for God. But consider allowing a trustworthy someone else know one of your most difficult struggles. You may find a great prayer warrior and your friendship will likely move to a deeper level. But you don’t know until you try.

If we want people to “be real” with us we often need to “be real” first. Do you have a friend you can be honest with about the ugly parts of your life? I pray you do or you will soon. Always ask God for discernment on what to share and when to share it. And be prepared to hear some real stuff. This is real life. We each experience real struggles. We all need real hope and forgiveness. I am so thankful for God’s hope and forgiveness in Jesus and our privilege to live together in community with one another ~ sometimes we are called to listen and sometimes we are called to share but I also believe we are called to “be real”.