"Don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?" James 4:4....."A sign of our ignorance in our relationship with God is our frequent prayers for Him to bless our other loves. We ask Him to fill our desire for our idols of comfort and conquest.....Friendship with this world - the corrupt world of status, lust, power, and greed, is a 'Dear John' letter to God." Chris Tiegreen
Many have learned "the Lord's prayer," and even pray it faithfully. Perhaps every day. But where are our hearts in the midst of that prayer? Of any prayer? Someone, I don't remember who, said that "We pray 'hallowed be Thy name,' but we don't live 'hallowed be Thy name.' " In this prayer we ask that His name be above all other names, but in our lives, His name isn't. There are so many other "names," loves that we have placed above Him. Perhaps the foremost name we place above His is our own.
I once heard it said that we can tell where the true motivation of our prayers lie in the fact of who will reap the most benefit if they are answered? For so many of mine, the majority recipient, was, is, me. It's self. I don't think I'm alone in that. Keith Green, a prophetic singer of the Jesus Movement of the 60's and 70's has a lyric in his song, "Asleep In The Light," showing the Father's lament over the prayers of His people; "Bless me Lord, bless me Lord, Oh that's all I ever hear. No one weeps, no one cries, no one even sheds one tear." I think the proof of this is found in the prayer requests of most of our churches. Lord, bless our lives, marriages, children, finances, professions, plans, goals, dreams, desires, and ministries. Bless our name Lord, while we forget Yours.......and the names of most of those you have placed around our lives. Isn't it amazing how shamelessly we can parade our other loves, our idols before Him, and as Tiegreen says, ask Him to bless them? Like King Saul, who kept the plunder of the Amalekites for himself instead of surrendering all of it to Him, we're oblivious to the bleating of our own "sheep," the lowing of our own "cattle" in the background.
Watchman Nee once wrote of the expectations of a woman he knew concerning Christ's return. On the brink of world war, many, like today, were expecting his return. Talk of it was everywhere in the Chinese church. He said that most had the desire for His return grounded in either their being proved right concerning their doctrine of His second coming, or that they would be delivered out of an increasingly troubled world. Of this good sister Nee said, "Her longing was for the Lord Himself." What are we truly longing for? A better portion, situation, circumstance for ourselves, or simply, only, for Him? It's not wrong to have other desires, good desires. But they are desires that must be placed on His altar. The good must be sacrificed in order to have the best; Himself. Are we going to go on praying hallowed be Thy name while refusing to live it? How loud are the sheep and cattle in your life and mine?