Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A lock-down prayer - Part 1

I led our church zoom prayer time this morning with some verses that seem especially appropriate. Partly because they are written by Paul in Lock down.  Probably in prison in Rome, certainly in chains, with the threat of death.  But also for us because of the way that he prays.  It is extraordinary in imprisonment that he is so keen to pray so positively, and for others too. It's Colossians 1: 9-14.

Look at the way he begins.  When we pray for others that they may have endurance and patience we likely dive straight into it.  But Paul begins by: asking God to fill you will all the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding v.9).  He's praying first that GOD IS IN YOUR HEAD.  This filling is a strong word about the whole of our minds - right brain (the imaginative) and left brain (the logical).  Every bit of our thinking.  The specifics are dramatically different from how we often think.

Spiritual wisdom is the knowledge of God's first principles.  It's intelligence of a completely different order. Elsewhere Paul speaks of the wisdom of this age and the rulers of this age (1 Cor 2.6) - the wisdom of university, law, media, conventional wisdom which accumulates facts from the world around.  Spiritual wisdom  is about receiving facts and knowledge from God himself - he has revealed the truths about us in Jesus, in we are to live.  What life is all about.  What is his will for creation, for you and me. Now.

Understanding comes from applying this spiritual wisdom - it's the practical application of living God's way.  For Paul, what matters is that we are thinking aright.  Someone said: The brain is no stronger than its weakest think. And it's very easy to become weary, anxious, depressed which can so easily lose sight of God's will for us.

You know those words from the Sarum Primer 1538;
      God be in my head, and in my understanding;
      God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
      God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
      God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
      God be at mine end, and at my departing.

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