March 2, 2016 2 Comments
I try to keep my prayers from “vain repetitions,” but I still find myself using certain phrases in my conversations with the Lord over and over again. One such phrase, “Lord, work with me and through me.” After having prayed this again just yesterday, I paused to reflect on what my words meant (I suppose trying to backpedal from it being a vain repetition).
I came to the conclusion that it’s a good phrase for me to pray, as long as I mean it when I pray it. Yes, I need to let God work with me before I can hope He will work through me in the lives of others. Sure, I’ve known this all along, but I also know I need to be reminded of this truth time and time again.
I can only share how God can be real and work in the life of someone else if I have experienced that in some measure in my own life first. I can’t give what I don’t have. What this means, then, is that if I have the goal of providing spiritual food for the souls of others I must first feed and nurture my own soul. Over my years of pastoral ministry I’ve had to resist the temptation to go off running in all directions to minister to people and rather move in His direction, allowing Him to minister to me first and to first transform me. Rushing off to others had to take second place to first resting in the Lord. My quiet times with the Lord helped me with the busy times of being with His people. “Yes, Lord, first work with me and then work through me. Amen.”
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” (Mark 6:31)