Pray Your Heart Out
by Kathye Hamm
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from
thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me
the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
Psalm 50: 10-12
I’m a member of an organization where the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. I’ve been clean and sober for twenty-nine years.
People share their experience, strength and hope at the meetings I attend. I believe God works through those people to empower and encourage folks to stay sober. I hope and pray that some things I share are of some help for some fellow alcoholics as well.
I still remember Joe (not his real name). He’d come roaring up in his Harley Davidson motorcycle – just a tad late for our 11am Tuesday meeting. He was almost as loud as his bike! He’d always give me a sideways hug and ask me, “How’s your sobriety, sweetheart?” I always felt a bit uncomfortable around him. I was still fairly young – an Intern at a church in the state of Washington. He wasn’t the sort of fellow you’d find in the pews on Sunday mornings!
But he was always honest about his disease of alcoholism, and he was always authentic when he shared. One day he told us that he was having some difficulties with his relationship with his girlfriend. He was afraid he was going to start drinking again as a way of dealing with this issue.
He shared that day, “So I got down on my knees last night before I went to bed and I asked God to help me to be patient and understanding with my girlfriend. Those are things I never was able to be when I was drinking. God knows that!”
Joe was one of the people who helped me get sober, and he also taught me how to pray.
I don’t know what your issues are, dear Reader. I don’t know what you’re struggling with right now. Perhaps it’s a troubled relationship with a loved one, or worries about our country, or struggles at your church or personal financial concerns. Whatever it is, try Joe’s way of praying. If you’re physically able, get down on your knees and pray. (If not – you could sit in a chair.)
Pray your heart out to our holy and almighty God who is ready to listen. Ask God for help. There’s something about praying on your knees – your prayers are completely honest. There’s no way you can wear a mask when you pray on your knees.
This is a spiritual discipline. I encourage you to try it as we are still deep in the season of Lent. Implore God to create within you a clean heart, and to put a right spirit within you. Beseech God not to cast you away from God’s presence, and not to take God’s holy Spirit from you. Ask God to restore the joy of God’s salvation to you and to uphold you with a willing spirit.
Sisters and brothers in Christ, blessings upon your Lenten journey.
April 25, 2017
April 18, 2017
April 11, 2017