“Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known.” ~Habakkuk 3:2
I’m still learning how to pray. I read the psalms and I read the prayers of the prophets and I realize I have such a long way to go. In order to pray with the mind of Christ, I must pray the will of the Father. But during my moments of most honest reflection, I admit, I’m usually praying for the will of the preacher.
Habakkuk prays that God’s deeds, not his own deeds or desires, might be renewed. Usually, I’m sorry to say, I’m talking to God about some specific project or idea or initiative and asking him to renew my work. I’m cruising along preaching and ministering and administrating and doing what a good preacher in a good church is supposed to do and everything’s great. But as soon as somebody bumps the table, as soon as there’s a little mess, suddenly prayer becomes very, very important to me. Now I’m really alert to prayer and the deep need for prayer and my intense dependence on prayer.
And I beg God to renew my work. God, fix my preaching. Lord, help our Small Groups. God, would you please revive my Bible class? Lord, build my ministry back up. If I’m not careful, my interest is really on what I’m building and not really on what God may actually want. It’s humbling to admit, and a tough lesson to learn, that quite possibly God’s not nearly as interested in my little stacks of programs and sermons as I am.
God, renew your deeds. Revive your work.
Do a new work, Lord. Don’t just refurbish or clean up what I’m doing. God, create something brand new here, something I haven’t even thought about. Do something I would never dream of, Lord. For your purposes. To your eternal glory, God. May your will be done in my preaching, not mine. May your will be done at Legacy, not mine. Lord, may your will be done in our Small Groups, in our elders’ meetings, and in this community, just like it is in heaven.
Renew your deeds, God. Not mine.
I’ve added a new link to the list there on the right. This is a blog I read regularly and have been meaning to include on my site for quite a while. I’ve just not taken the time.
John Mark Hicks’ blog, John Mark Hicks Ministries, is a wonderful source for Restoration and Church of Christ history and perspective. John Mark’s is a prophetic voice, speaking God’s Word into the culture and into our churches with spirit and truth. And, as regular readers to my blog know, I’m a huge fan of his research and writings on the Lord’s Supper, baptism, and our corporate worship assemblies. His trilogy of books on those three “sacraments” are among the best written on the topics in decades. “Come to the Table” is arguably the greatest work on communion ever produced by a C of C scholar. OK, I know. All that sounds a little over the top. Sorry. Hicks is good. You’ll like his blog.