It’s on my mind because James and Aly Pflugfelder were in my living room not too long ago and Aly used those words and they’ve been stuck in my head ever since. They’ve been disturbing me. Making me uncomfortable. You may not want to let Aly come to your house anytime soon! OK, that’s a joke.
I’m not sure I can even tell you the context in which Aly said “Press In’ but what she meant when she said it was that we needed to press in closer to God. To be more dependent on him. To focus on what deepens our relationship with him. To love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and then see what He does in the situation. It pictures for me a child who is scared, or worried, or hurt and they just can’t get close enough to Mom or Dad. They are pressing in as tightly as possible because they know that’s where they need to be. That’s where they’ll find safety and comfort and guidance.
It was only a few days later that I was out for a walk and thinking about our church family and the places I wish we were different, and my prayer sounded something like “God, how do I fix this?” Typical man response, huh? It strikes me that I often ask Ann, when she’s telling me something about how she feels, if she wants me to just listen or does she want me to fix it? Usually she just needs me to listen. Well, I think that’s just what God wants because what I heard Him say was “Don’t fix it. Press in.”
So there’s been about 15 minutes of me sitting in front of my computer just looking at those words. “Don’t fix it. Press in.” Pursue a passionate friendship with God. Experience the love and compassion of your Father. Deepen your trust. Connect at every level. Devote yourselves to prayer. Ah, an intersection with yesterday’s blog! A connection of the dots! Paul tells us to devote ourselves to prayer because he knows that this is the expression of and pathway to a passionate relationship with the Father, and it is out of that devotion that God moves.
How do we miss this? How is it that we can be consumed with activity out the wazoo (whatever that may be!) but not be devoted to the one activity together that makes us who we are? 57 years old, 33 years a pastor, and I am puzzled…flabbergasted….astonished…amazed…dumbfounded…shocked…okay, so I used the synonym feature of Word…stunned! That I see so few kingdom places where God’s people actually could be said to devote themselves to prayer.
The Millers have been going through a simplification phase of our life recently: we’re trying to downsize the house, we’ve eliminated some of the wasteful spending items in our budget, that kind of stuff. And in many ways I feel that God has been doing this to us as a church as well. What does it really mean to be the church, bottom line kind of stuff? Would we not all agree that prayer is one of those essentials? That we should be, you might say, devoted to prayer? Well, hey then, I just had a novel idea! Let’s do that!