Pursuing Through Prayer
I am not very good at prayer, I think because I’m too busy doing stuff—stuff that I think is important and necessary and, well, I just don’t have time to stop and pray. How would I ever get things done?
I realize that this is not what you might expect to hear from a teaching pastor, but lamentably it’s true. However, I think that I might be coming closer to a reason why.
I recently took a personality profile test called the Enneagram, and I discovered that I was, according to the scoring, a “Two”, also known as “The Helper”. In his excellent book, The Road Back To You, Ian Morgan Cron discusses in detail the positives and negatives of my newly found personality type, and he has a whole section (uncomfortably long!) about what he calls the besetting sin of the “Two”: pride. This took me by surprise, until I realized that initially I was quite proud of the fact that this counselor and pastor was designated as “The Helper”. Pride is my besetting sin indeed. But how, you might ask, does this intersect with prayer?
Prayer, I would submit, is the antidote to pride. There is a laying down of my efforts, my desires, my plans, as I take the time to submit my will to God’s will. In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, and the beginning of that prayer says it all: “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” When I stop and sincerely pray, I am in essence pursuing God to discover his will, and simultaneously allowing God to pursue me with his plan and desires for my life.
Prayer done right is an exercise in humility. And you and I are called to pray. So, let’s take the time to allow God to pursue us as we pursue him.
Jim Keller is on the Teaching Team here at Summit! You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any thoughts you have on the Enneagram, prayer, or just to say "hey, Jim, thanks for teaching us all about Jesus".