After the cage fight

Image by Stefan Tell via Flickr

This last Sunday was the beginning of a season of renewal of corporate prayer at Cornerstone. We gathered 30 minutes before our worship celebration began and, in prayer, worshiped God, confessed sin, asked for Him to renew us, petitioned for our body, interceded for our community and thanked Him for His goodness. It was sweet to be in the midst of faithful people seeking God, and it lead into a powerful time of worship.

This morning I got to hang out with some of the dudes from Cornerstone who have accountability with each other, and I expressed to them that this week feels like I’m in a cage fight, with my face against the cage, having my arms wrenched backwards in a bid for submission. In a word, brutal. I anticipated this season, being one who is leading the body of Christ into the battle that is prayer, but it does not make it suck any less.

Two things have occurred in my times of trial that I think are worth sharing with you. Firstly, the accusations in the mind to do with relational things (friends, family etc.) do not have to be left in the dark recesses to nip at your heels all day. There is an obvious, practical thing we can do – communicate. If you find yourself wondering if person x or y or z has developed a sudden dislike for you, or if you fear you’ve caused some offense, talk to that person. Humble yourself and ask, because the worst case scenario is that something is wrong and now it can be dealt with. For me, the reality was that there were no problems, but left unchecked my selfish, pity-party side could have really run with the ideas and crippled me.

And secondly, the temptation is to stop the very thing we need the most, which is prayer. When we engage in prayer we are warring with the enemy of our souls and his kingdom. Like most tyrrants, he does not appreciate that and will push back. The answer is not to stop fighting, but to remain steadfast and trust that Jesus has the victory.

If you are in the cage fight yourself today, please do not buy the lie that you are on your own. You do not have to silently struggle, and you should keep on praying.