the list

Recently I read Radical by David Platt. I’ll talk more about that later. Maybe.
I kind of had a mixed response ……but the last chapter I am especially a fan of.
It asks you to commit to reading the entire bible and praying for the entire year (and a few other things) over the course of the next year.
And I decided I was in.
That was a few weeks ago. And I’m not so good about every single day.
But I am doing it.
The praying for the world part is especially challenging because I’m pretty sure I am the world’s worst prayer.
Atleast the focused, remember to pray for your friends, and quiet listening type of prayer. And big general things like world peace and countries I have never heard of. Forget it.
The “please help” and occasional “thanks” prayers I have down pat.
But there is a great website ( that walks you through specific countries and needs to pray for each day.
And so today. I was good.
I had some time before my 1st block class and I went to the website. I scanned the information. Threw up a quick prayer for the people of Nigeria.
And then I literally checked it off my list.
It was on my to do list.
Right between pick up copies and make a test review.
And as I marked off pray for the world on my to do list something inside me screamed.
This is not how God intended it.
His kingdom is the entire list. Not something sandwiched between items 6 and 7.
And guilt filled me a bit as I headed down to the copier, I tried to pray a bit longer for the Muslim – Christian conflict in Nigeria.
But mostly I just hoped I could get the rest of my stuff done before the bell rang.
And I am torn.
I’m a bad prayer. And part of my wanted to congratulate myself for remembering to pray. And especially to pray for someone besides myself.
But mostly I felt like a legalistic Pharisee checking things off my list and hoping to be noticed. Rather than loving with my whole heart.
And I’m trying to find a way to live radically and get my papers graded, my son’s lunch packed and a good workout in at the gym. And am afraid that maybe it can’t be done. At least not with a list
Because then all I will be is radically productive.
Bigger Picture MomentThis post is part of bigger picture blogs..........and attempt to find the bigger picture in our crazy week and look for faith along the way. Check out some of the other posts at Hyacynth's blog.


Hyacynth said...

Michelle, you just flooded me with about seven different emotions with this post. I love your heart. And I love that you are wanting to be in prayer for the needs of others.
And, you know, I think God cares that your heart wanted to be in prayer. {Reminds me of the verse the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak ...} Because we are all distracted by the flesh, by the world. It's so hard to live in the world and not be of the world.
So many people use reminders for praying. He created you as a person who is reminded by lists maybe? If you're truly caring about the prayer, I don't think it matters much how you're reminded ... in my very humble opinion.
I think, too, that the evil one wants you to think you are a bad prayer so you won't pray. I was listening to a message on prayer, and Dr. Evans was talking about how when we pray we are flooding the forces of heaven and it's a very spirtual battle that emerges. I fully believe that. So keep on praying. List or no list.
And I'm going to take a cue from you, and I'm going to make a list. Because I think the more we practice, the more we better understand how to flood the gates with requests for God's will to be done.
{Sorry for the book. I'm very passionate about this. :) }