“When John Kavanaugh, the noted and famous ethicist, went to Calcutta, he was seeking Mother Teresa … and more. He went for three months to work at “the house of the dying” to find out how best he could spend the rest of his life. When he met Mother Teresa, he asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she replied. He then uttered the request he had carried thousands of miles: “Clarity. Pray that I have clarity.”
“No,” Mother Teresa answered, “I will not do that.” When he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When Kavanaugh said that she always seemed to have clarity, the very kind of clarity he was looking for, Mother Teresa laughed and said: “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”
Have you ever asked for something and then realized you don't know what to ask for? Or maybe you have an ah-ha moment and realize that you have just been asking the wrong questions! As I read the above recount of a story, I was struck by the fact that we often are asking for prayer for one thing, and may not even realize that we need something else.
I remember a time last year when I wrote the following in my journal “Today, I don't know what to ask you for or what the right questions to even ask to identify my next. Maybe I'm not supposed to and just let it come”. I had been reading a book entitled “Digging the Wells of Revival by Lou Engle. In chapter 7 he quoted the words of Mario Murillo...“We are asking to become the literal altar upon which the fire will fall...”
As I read that I wrote a note - Right Question! I literally read this, hours after my journal entry! I knew God had heard my prayer and answered. I needed to change the questions I had been asking. There is a difference in saying Lord let your fire fall vs Lord allow me to be the altar upon which the fire falls! My God, I got it, so at that moment I wrote the following:
“God change, fix or otherwise alter and instruct my prayers, my prayer life, and my prayer language to please you. “
So now, God, my questions are new
Where is my field and identify my boundaries?
What is my inheritance?
Which spiritual tribe am I a part of?
Give me the springs to irrigate my fields according to Joshua 15:18-19?
Are you willing to admit that you no nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified? Are you willing to lay down everything you thought you knew? Are you willing to accept that our humanity has limited access to our Almighty God? Are you willing to admit that we have placed God in a box even when we say we have let him out the box? Are you willing to admit that our prayer lives have become dull and self-serving?
If you can identify with any of these statements, it is time to Change your questions! It is time to say God I’m sorry for taking the lead, God take over and lead me to the right questions to see your manifested Power in me, in my community and in the nations!