Monday, September 5, 2011

The Papa Prayer

I've been thinking about the Papa Prayer a lot lately. I sent the "gist" of it to my son recently, hoping to help him on his current difficult walk of faith. Why is it so easy to tell someone else what they should be doing, when you're not doing it yourself?!

Yesterday, I realized how much I need to revisit the Papa Prayer for myself. I am so prone to present myself to Jesus as the person I think I should be instead of the person I really am. 'Cause the person I really am can be very dark, angry and selfish. Does Jesus really want me to present that kind of person to Him? Uh, yeah!

As long as I keep showing up to Jesus with my happy face plastered on, I am nothing more than a white-washed sepulchre and there is nothing He can do to heal me. But when I drop the mask and begin to tell Him how disappointed I am in what I've experienced of Him, I begin to see how ludicrous my disappointment is and He is able to heal my perception of Him and free my mind from the grips of fear, worry and regret.

Does that mean I'll never have fear, worry and regret again? Uh, no! But when I do, if I'll bring them to Jesus, present my fearful, anxiety-ridden self to Him, He will correct my perception of Him and give me direction. At which point, I need to submit (oh, the dreaded word!) myself to him, do what He's calling me to do and move on! I cannot function the way He has designed me to function when my mind and emotions are consumed with fear, worry and regret. But until I get real about those things, they will consume me.

The Papa Prayer:

Present yourself to God authentically; be real with Him as you are with no one else.

Attend to how you are thinking of God, how you picture Him as you're talking to Him and then modify your perception to fit who He tells you He is.

Purge yourself of your relational faults by taking inventory of how you put your interests ahead of His and getting rid of anything that blocks intimacy with Him.

Approach God just as you are, tuning in to your passion to know Him and to honor Him above all others.

"Come to me exactly how you are. Stop trying so hard to be good. Admit that you're not so good. Admit how disappointed you are in what you've so far experienced of Me. I know you wonder if I even care. Sometimes you've hated Me. Be who you are in My presence. No, it's not a pretty sight. But I've found a way for Me to look at you with excitement. And my Father is singing over you. You won't hear the music till you come out of hiding. Come. Present yourself to Me. I'll walk with you as you present yourself to my Father. It'll be all right. Trust me."  --Jesus (From Larry Crabb's book, Papa Prayer)

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!