Thursday, August 18, 2011

To Desire Shalom--A Morning Prayer

All of creation, everything that has breath praising God--it's so easy to say that this harmonious scene is my heart's desire, but it is much tougher to live in such a way that this desire permeates my every thought and action.

Intellectually, I understand what Shalom is--this perfect system of relationships in the world existing and working together solely for the glory of God--a flawless, uncorrupted, whole peace. Peace in its purest sense. I know that this is what I should desire, but often it's not the first thing on my mind.

I'm weak, easily distracted, easily worried or stressed by circumstances in my life. I think of me first and foremost, and I shove Shalom into a corner where I'll occasionally glance over and say "well, it's a nice thought." That's not good enough, though...

My fervent prayer is that Shalom becomes my heart's desire, my first thought waking and sleeping, my top priority. I pray that I can rejoice when I see healing in the world, when I see people giving glory to their Creator. I pray that I can grieve when I see injustice and pain, never once accepting it as normal but always recognizing that it's not how God intended the world to be. Most of all, I pray that God will orient my heart to pursue Him, to glorify Him in all that I say and do. Critics say that a Christian life is boring, that surrendering our personal wants and needs to God drains our lives of excitement. I confess I've felt like this sometimes but I believe that this attitude is yet another effect of sin's hold on our hearts. In truth, a life spent glorifying God is infinitely exciting, infinitely meaningful, even if I struggle to desire it myself... so naturally my prayer is that I will desire such a life at all times and in all things.

When you think about it, there's literally no other goal in life that we can pursue that will fill our lives with such meaning and such peace. May this cognitive understanding invade my heart and my hands, as well as my head.

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