Matt Evans blog has a post called Seven Deadly Sins of Pastors. I'm not a pastor but I'm not a Galatian, or Ephesian either, and I still apply THOSE letters to my life, so this list hit me and convicted me.
Number six on his list was the biggest hit of all:
6) Prayerlessness. I just finished reading an incredible book called, The Power of Prayer by E.M. Bounds who ministered during the Civil War era. Here’s a quote: “Man is looking for better methods. God is looking for better men. Man is God’s method.” WOW! In this book he challenges preachers to spend more time praying than they do preparing messages. He highlights how God has moved in the Bible and in history in response to prayer. I once read where most pastors spend around 7 minutes in prayer a day. I have been convicted that one of my main responsibilities is to pray and … up until last week, I was neglecting it. The first crisis in the first church dealt (in part) with the need for the church’s ministers to pray.
I haven't carved out enough prayer time. Not the prayers that you can have on your lips all through the day, but the I'm-alone-with-God-and-this-is-serious kind of prayer time. It's during those times that you become emotional, you claim things, or rebuke things. Sometimes it's at the top of my lungs while stomping through my house (I'm sure my neighbors love me) and other times with a fresh brokenness. It's in those special moments God pierces your heart and challenges things you've always held to be true, or in the quiet way only He can do, He reveals to you your greatest fears and asks you to give them up.
You can do a lot of talking throughout the day with God. But it's those quiet moments, those loud moments, those personal moments when no one is watching that have really made my relationship amazing. Not to say I don't enjoy the conversation throughout the day, it's special in it's own way, but... nothing like those private moments.
I've neglected them since Shawna arrived and it's cost me something I don't want to give up. I want it back.
Balance is incredibly hard. But I'm going to find it. Maybe it's a pipe dream but there is something almost painfully exciting about the idea. Balance is keeping the house clean, the child taught and loved, and Christ at the center and forefront of it all, family and community being shown Gods love in tangible ways and finally being able to stop going to bed each night feeling as though you just haven't quite cut it that day.
When I find balance... well, I'll most certainly tell you about it.