Looking Up – 3/8

Hopechurchws   -  
Dear Hope Church Family,

I love a good book of prayers – written prayers that can give me words to pray when I cannot come up with my own, prayers that jump start my heart from distraction and numbness into focused, personal conversation with the living God, prayers that forge a connection with the Father when I am on the move and do not have the luxury to linger in his presence.

A particularly helpful and moving book of prayers that I lean on heavily is Canyon Road by Kari Kristina Reeves. Some are long and extend several typed pages. Others are tight, terse prayers more akin to a heading atop a blank page. There is no discernible rhythm or reason to how they are arranged, but often the shorter ones pack the most punch and spring out with the turn of the page.

As I was recently praying, leafing through a section of forgiveness prayers, one longer section culminated, and I turned the page over again to the next. My eyes locked onto five powerful words with a plea that required more courage and transparency than I was willing to summon at the moment: 

“Uncover the things I hide.” 

In that fight-or-flight moment, I reflexively, instinctively, quickly flipped the page back over to hide that prayer! The irony was not lost on me – hiding from a prayer about hiding.

Exposure, vulnerability, and the shame that often accompany them have long been with us. From Adam and Eve hiding in the bushes to me hastily turning that page, there is a part of all of us that would rather remain unknown, unseen, cloaked, tucked away. Sometimes we can’t seem to bear the weight of what we sense, know, and see about ourselves. We lurk away from apparent view and, perhaps, we reason, from accountability for what we hide, too.

Is the Gospel good enough, true enough, trustworthy enough to deal with the things you and I hide? 

Psalm 139, banking on the covenant tenderness and fidelity of the Lord, invites God’s searching gaze into the recesses of our hearts to coax out and call by true names the hidden things. Assuredly not to shame or ridicule but to enlighten and liberate: “Search me, O God, and know my heart!”

We have several more weeks of Lent this year and a lifetime of discipleship beyond. What kind of assurance would it take for you and me to pray, “Uncover the things I hide” – to turn the page from hiddenness to intimacy? Would the “no condemnation” of Romans 8:1 do the trick?

Pray for me, and I will pray for you!Grace and peace,