Thursday, July 17, 2008

The One Prayer always Answered

The one prayer always answered is the honest prayer.

David found out about honesty after the presumptuous yet covert fling with the Hebrew beauty, Bathsheba. David assumed the event was hidden until the prophet, Nathan, came calling. Forced to be honest, he had to admit his mistake, his issues, his tendencies.

It was a horrible moment for David.

It was the best moment for David.

Through it all he learned how much God desires honesty. (See Psalm 51:6)

My most memorable Halloween costume was Evel Knievel. Memorable because a)Knievel was so ‘huge’ in the 70’s, b)I think it was the only costume we ever actually bought new from the store, c)mostly because I looked so good... full-body white suite with the stars and stripes across the chest, flowing cape, the big collar and to top it off an Evel Knievel mask. I was the coolest. The over all effect was stunning. But as with all costumes, the drawback was the stinkin' mask. It was hot, suffocating and made everything smell like cheap plastic. (hmmm, as opposed to expensive plastic?) On more than one occasion I felt compelled to remove the mask. So to summarize, with the mask on I was incredible but claustrophobic. With it off I was ordinary but able to breathe. To be the coolest or to breathe is always a tough choice for an 11 year old but finally I decided to take the mask off once and for all, give it to my dad and enjoy normal respiration.

Masks are fun as a child. Unfortunately lots of adults I know still wear them. You might be wearing one right now. (Probably not a Knievel mask although if you were that would be awesome! ) Most likely you are wearing another kind of mask, a barrier, something you hide behind.

Unlike the Halloween mask - you would prefer to not take this one off.

Like the Halloween mask - you cant breathe unless you take it off and give it to your Father.

What’s your mask?
Who are you trying to impress,
hide from,
Who are you trying to be?
Who are you?

Be honest, discard the mask. I learned what David learned what all spiritually growing people learn what you need to learn...

The one prayer always answered is the honest prayer.

(This idea pretty much comes from Vince Antonucci’s book, “I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt”.)

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Anonymous said...

amen brother.

Liam said...

Masking: An interesting practice. But what do we mask? It depends on the culture, the gender, the socio economic position, the who am I trying to impress and why? on and on.

Masking seems to be a part of growing. I think your point is to be honest before God in the mask, and not all masks are bad. Hey, Evil wasn't really evil was he? So now its about finding the masks that harm, being authentic in the mask which means being vulnerable with our feelings and the show of weakness. Who knows? The play acting of the 11 year old EK was the beginning of feeling like a courageous invulnerable person that inspires this vision to some reality in the future. The stamp on a childs mind is powerful...but it needs to be understood, it needs to be watered with Gods word, it needs to be allowed to try on and take off these masks as we begin to reveal the desires of our heart that He has placed there... peace

jtc said...

that's just it, that's most beautiful part ... the fact that God, who created us, and knows us just the way we are, at the same time loves us just the way we are. The trick it would seem is loving ourselves and others in that same way... for then there would be no need for the masks.

Presenting myself in an unauthentic way to a God who knows every thought in my head and motive in my heart... yeah that may be the biggest paradox of all time.

Jonathan Foster said...

liam, i agree with a)what we mask is dependent on our culture, gender, etc... and b)role playing at a young age can inspire one to act out in reality when older... but i kinda dont think that's the same thing as the 'mask' i was talking about... which is simply when we try to hide. hiding , except when in physical, emotional peril, etc..., is almost never a good thing. it was the first thing that adam and eve did when they sinned. it was what moses did when he killed the egyptian. it was what peter ran off and did after denying Christ three times. i believe that no real spiritual progress happens unless we stop running away, turn, repent and pursue what jtc was talking about here - being authentic before God.

but, i could have misread what you were saying! so please forgive me if i did and clarify.

thank you for taking the time!!

monkwater said...

good stuff. as a pastor I sometimes feel most suffocated in the church. great challenge to breathe even when others think it's uncool.

Jonathan Foster said...

true. thank God you don't mind being uncool!

Liam said...

jonathan, I agree with you in your intended context..hiding, secrets harm and hurt, and break intimacy with others and God.
Peace. liam

Jonathan Foster said...

ah, good. not that you have to agree with me. just glad we're on the 'same page'.