The question in this week’s prayer is: would you stand on your head for God?
Thanks for joining me, this week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
May your grace, O Lord, we pray, at all times go before us and follow after and make us always determined to carry out good works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
At first read of this prayer, God going before and following behind, reminded me of the pillar of fire and smoke that went ahead of and followed behind the Israelites as they went through the desert. Wouldn’t that have been amazing to see the presence of God before and after you? What if you can’t see it?
Last week I shared a story of the mints that opened up a conversation with a gas station clerk. Although I couldn’t see it and I didn’t even know it, God was working ahead of me, her kids were asking her to take them to church. God worked behind me, I know he did because she and I were both crying after our encounter. But there was a good work in the middle: I took the opportunity to share God’s love with her.
In one of the books I was reading this week, I heard an even more amazing story. While at a prayer meeting, a woman gave everything to God, she told him that she would be willing to do whatever he asked her to do. As she drove home, she felt a strong urge to turn left, then right, then pull into the parking lot of a convenience store. Excited to see what God was doing, she went in. The next impression she got from God was, “Do a handstand.”
At this point in the story, I was thinking, God would never ask me to do that, I can’t do handstands.
Then the story got better. The woman read chip packages while the other customers paid and left the store. Then right here, at the pole by the cash register, she did a handstand. The clerk put his head in his heads and she was sure he was laughing hysterically. To her surprise, he was crying.
God’s grace was working ahead of her. Just 30 minutes before she walked in the store, the clerk told God that he would believe in Him if a Christian would come in the store and stand on their head. God’s grace also worked behind. That night, the man gave his life to Christ, fell in love with God and is an active member of her church.
This good work done by this woman made me think. As I said, my first response was that God would never ask me to do that because I can’t do a handstand, but what if God did tell me to do a handstand? If God is asking me to do something, I wouldn’t want to say no. Would I think that he couldn’t be talking to me because I can’t do that? Yet, if God wanted me to do it, he’d give me the grace to do it, too.
There are two things that we need to take away from this prayer:
1. We don’t need ability. That night in the convenience store, God didn’t hear the man’s prayer and then look for someone who had training as a gymnast. God is not looking for someone who has the ability. God is looking for someone who is available.
2. We get the credit. Our good works have merit. That’s right! God inspires them, and he completes them through us, but we still get the merit just for giving him our yes. There are some good works that we do for others because we are God’s children, and we are good people. However, some good works are things God calls us to do if we are available to be a part of his plan. For that we will need God’s grace, and he will supply it.
Lectio the Liturgy: What is your greatest challenge in this week’s prayer? Is it remembering that God is always working and is looking for somewhat who is available? Or, maybe it’s hard for you to find the courage to step out in faith when we feel God calling. Remember the three petitions we have in this prayer, we ask that God’s grace go before, that it follow after, and that it make us determined to act. Ask God for more of his grace.
Thanks for praying with me,