I embarked on one of the most intense seasons of spiritual warfare in my
Christian walk. Though the topic was one I had a genuine passion for, I
experienced a tremendous struggle whenever I sat down to study and craft the
I’d been looking forward to exploring the material, but now
my concepts were painfully slow in coming, and the harder I tried the more
frustrated I became. It was frightening and demoralizing.
I reasoned that the warfare was due to the subject my host
had chosen for the meetings. My prayers had definitely been more intense than
usual. As the time for the gathering approached, I started seeing some reward
for my efforts, but God was still refining the messages after I arrived at the
The Lord graciously met us during our time together. But I
couldn’t shake the feeling that all wasn’t well with me.
Not until I’d returned home did God begin to show me the
reason I had struggled so. In my heart I heard, “You’re living too far from
Instantly, I knew what the Spirit of the Lord meant. I’d
read this sentiment in Amy Carmichael’s devotional book, Edges of His Ways (Christian Literature Crusade).
What I experienced is similar to what we’ve all felt in
prayer. You may be lingering on your knees but your time seems unfruitful;
Jesus, the lover of your soul, seems remote.
Carmichael wrote: “I think distractions in prayer are often
because we have let ourselves wander too far from the things that matter most
at common times, and so we have slipped into an easily interrupted, easily
distracted, frame of mind. We need to live more at home.”
How heartbroken I was to know that my interests and
pursuits, though not sinful, could potentially lure me away from “home,” the
place where I’m continuously aware of His presence.
I wouldn’t dream of dictating to any of you the amount of
time you are to give to thoughts of God or the level of intimacy to which you
should aspire. But we have a responsibility to enter into the fullness of the
kind of relationship God has made available for us to enjoy.
Amy Carmichael’s remedy for those intermittent periods of
remoteness in our relationship with God is routinely to take a long, hard look
at Calvary every day. I believe she’s right.
I challenge you to look away to Jesus more often. His cross
answers our questions, settles our complaints and lifts the burdens off our
PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 4/25/2011
This week take a long, hard look at Calvary once again and
consider the sacrifice Jesus made in order to restore your broken relationship
with Heavenly Father. Embrace the privilege of open communication with the One
who made you, understands you, and is able to do more than you can imagine.
Open your heart, tell Him how you feel and receive His indescribable love. Let
Him know that you not only trust Him for eternity but for your everyday needs
as well. Remember those who have endured great losses through natural disasters
and economic setbacks. Pray for a global harvest of souls, Israel, the Middle
East, our military, allies, and their families. Include President Obama and
other leaders as they continually face the challenges ahead. 1 Tim. 2:1-6