Monday, August 10, 2009

Free To Be

I sat in Starbucks with the beautiful teenage girl listening to her heart. She was telling me of how Jesus found her. I asked her what her greatest challenge in life was. I thought she might speak of her relationship with her mother, or a subject at school, or even knowing what to do with her life once high school ended. But it wasn’t so. Her greatest challenge was to pray for everyone she needed to pray for.

I felt the weight of her burden. I’ve carried the burden myself in years past. But Jesus has shown me a different way. It has breathed the breath of life into my soul. Maybe it would hers too.

Jesus is at the right hand of the father always interceding. At the same time He indwells me. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, Christ now lives in me. He’s not just someone who came to take away our sins, He now indwells each and every one of us. I don’t think we get that sometimes. But if we accepted His invitation for an exchanged life, it is our reality.

If Christ indwells us and is always interceding, then could it be that at all times prayer is going out of us while we are unaware?

I am convinced that everything is by His invitation. Where He wants me to join Him, He places a call, burden or desire on my heart. It doesn’t really require any effort. Instead it elicits a response.

There have been times when my heart has been so burdened for another that I couldn't get it off my mind. I’ve come to believe it is His invitation to join Him before the Father. It doesn’t require a discipline to pray, or even a list to remind myself. My heart is drawn to the point that I cannot NOT pray.

Which leads me to another point. What is prayer any ways? Is it sentences strung together that sound spiritual? Or could it be even an ache of the soul for another? Doesn’t He read our thoughts (Psalm 139:2)? Doesn’t He look on the heart of man? (I Samuel 16:7)

I’ve come to believe He reads our groans, tears, and thoughts; puts them into legible words and offers them to the Father. For at times, there are no words to be spoken.

There was a time when all I had was tears. The deep sobs wracked my body as I felt the intensity of life bearing down on me. There were no words to offer, only exhaustion. Yet, He came for me. Without a word spoken, Jesus came and lifted me up. It changed my paradigm. For I had been taught that we had to pray with words about everything. I hadn’t uttered a word, I didn’t have any. Yet Jesus read my tears and came.

I’ve come to believe that this is His way. Sometimes there are words to speak. They simply pour out of me. Other times I have groans and aches. And then there are times I have only tears. Each one is an invitation. Each one represents a heart’s cry. Each time He responds.

The beauty is that we are free to be in the moment. As we rest in His life lived in and through us we can just be. His Spirit indwelling us will invite us. It will be a response instead of a requirement. He will burden our hearts with those things that He desires us to join Him in.

I could see it in her eyes as I spoke. She’d never heard anything like it. I know, I hadn’t either. Complex Christianity has just been made simple. Be with God in the moments of life, knowing He will invite you into where He desires you to be. No more struggle and strain to “get ‘er done” we are now free to just be.

Also posted at the Internet Cafe:

©copyright: 2009 Julie L. Todd


Mary said... Reply to comment


Katie said... Reply to comment

I once struggled with that same sense of guilt, and God set me free with a different revelation.

But I really like this, too. I believe you're totally right...thoughts and feelings can be prayers as well.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Hi, I read this over at the Cafe and had to visit you here. Your post released me from inner stress on this day and I am FOREVER grateful!

I Choose Bliss

Pttyann said... Reply to comment

Yes this is a wonderful post and I'm sure it has helped many.I also visited at the Cafe but just stopping through to let you know your post is a blessing to me.
Love you Julie

Amy said... Reply to comment

I loved this! I agree one hundred percent!

I read a quote of Mother Teresa several years ago that inspired me to seek God more until I discovered what true prayer is.

Interestingly, the freer I get the more I desire disciplined prayer.
My spirit craves those times of stillness and silence.

In the times of stillness, I have discovered that prayer is listening to God and responding to His Spirit.

Love you!

Sande said... Reply to comment

Liberating isn't it. Been on a similar journey. Learning to live in expectancy not in expectations.

~Mad said... Reply to comment

I read this today on Internet Cafe - thank you so much. It answered some queries of mine that I have had for some time. You just had the right words to say for me today.

Again, thanks!
~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

Faith Imagined said... Reply to comment

Wow! Thank you for this! I have never thought this way before but it is so right on!

Laurel in Canada said... Reply to comment

Hi sweet Julie. Thanks for stopping in my blog for coffee. :) It was nice to have you.

Posted at the cafe too but this post really touched my heart. It's lovely.

Lord I ask you to bless Julie today. Pour Yourself into her evermore and continue to grow her into the woman you see in her already. Amen

With love, Laurel

Karen said... Reply to comment

This was so good...isn't that just the way so often...turning a simple action that can produce great results into something that we over-analyze and turn it completely into something the Lord never intended...what a blessing this was....

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

How I love the heart of that girl you mentioned at the start of your post.

How connected she is to the heart of the Father!

The desert fathers have long taught that most prayers of our hearts cannot be put into words. A tear, a sigh... yes I believe these are wordless prayers.

Your post speaks very much to my heart.

Eugene Peterson's words can also apply to prayer: Learn the unforced rhythms of life...learn to live freely and lightly.

There is a time and place for specifically worded prayers, but the prayers of our hearts are heard by our heavenly Father.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

I think I fixed the hyperlink! Thank you for your message and visit.

Will keep up with you.
~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

Amy Jo said... Reply to comment

Beautiful insight, Julie! Thanks for sharing God's heart through yours. Sweet blessings & JOY, Amy

Carmen said... Reply to comment

This. Was. Incredible!

I completely agree, and I love the way you've put it. I think I'll send your link to a few of my friends. They're not bloggers, but I know they'll appreciate this. Thanks!!

Linda said... Reply to comment

What a beautiful way of putting it. Carmen sent me the link to this post, and I'm thankful she did. I needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing it.

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

This has to be one of my top 5 faves of yours, Julie. I wish I had the privilege of being that teenage girl. And in some ways, I just did.

Thank You, Jesus for Jewelz.

Searching for God in the everyday said... Reply to comment

Thank you. I don't know what else to say. This is beautiful.
"I’ve come to believe He reads our groans, tears, and thoughts; puts them into legible words and offers them to the Father. For at times, there are no words to be spoken."
What comfort. I am at a place right now where I don't have words and this is a comforting thought. Thank you for sharing.

Trinity Mommy said... Reply to comment

Beautiful! I love to see how our Papa works!

christy rose said... Reply to comment

Free to be, just be! Living in union and communion with my Creator and Father, fulfilling my purpose of letting Him love me and growing in my understanding of His Personhood, allowing Him to move me into agreement with His purpose and will for myself, my family, those around me and those I come in contact with so that we, together, enjoy participating in bringing provision and blessing into the lives of the people that we love. That place of being with the Lord is the sweetest place on earth. No struggles! No worries! No burdens! Just responding to Him and resting in knowing His
desires will be.
What a wonderful life that the Lord desires for us to live with Him! This was a great post Julie! I so live in this place with the Lord!
I am so thankful,

2nd Cup of Coffee said... Reply to comment

Really helpful, Julie, and I totally agree with everything you say here.

Also, I know about bio-identical hormones and brought the subject up to my doc, but she didn't go for it. So far, I'm not miserable enough to insist, but if things get bad, I will.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Wow! What a paradigm shift. Incredible insight (yet again!)