A prayer written in the darkness before the dawn of a Sudanese morning. I thought I’d repost it here today because the prayer I prayed then resonates with conversations I’ve had today… and I still hunger for ever-increasing intimacy with Jesus for myself and others.
I wield no battleaxe or spear or pike
Or aim my arrows at the walls I cannot see
For their invisibility
I haven’t mastered any ancient art of knowing the unknown
Feeling like I knew You would be enough
And yet I don’t
Know You as I should, for days rush by without the sign
Of growth and knowledge intimately
Binding our hearts
I cry for revelation as I sit upon the bed of one
Whose tormentors I cannot see nor touch nor hear
But for her echo of their voice
They ignore me – if they hear my cries in Your name –
As if my words mean nothing
But they do!
They must mean something, mustn’t they?
I’ve not misheard the Word so long that these words can hold no meaning
Is the fruit of knowing You the authority I long for?
And must my heart first long for something before I seek You?
Or can I seek You apart from it all?
And could I leave this battlefield, or would I then feel lost
without a soul to bare my soul to, lest a distant relative scoff
and close me out.
Why do I run to a manual, a handbook, a teaching?
When beside me, You are here, Teacher, Friend, and King.
But I turn to the second hand so swiftly.
Laziness? Lack of hunger? Ignorance? Blindness?
What comes as second hand knowledge still comes… but on such a different level. I say I want to receive from You, but my heart doesn’t reach out. It just waits. And for what do I wait? For You to intervene? When You have already given me all that I need for life and godliness?
I want to receive it.
Oh Jesus. Oh – won’t You reveal this Truth to me? The Truth of You? Revelation of Yourself?!
Help me open myself to receive it directly from You. Help me position myself by setting my heart upon You – by opening Your Word with a ravenous hunger – by expecting to meet with You at every turn – and then meeting with You.
I feel like You grant authority to those who know You. Or maybe it’s not even a question of granting the authority – but more a question of my receiving it?
I want to receive of You, Jesus. Here in the bush of Sudan. Here in the dark night of this bush. In the place where demons oppress and show off their supposed strength. In the middle of a land soaked by the blood of the guilty and innocent alike. In this land, right now, in the darkness of the pre-dawn, I want to receive of You. I want to know You!
For You are to me more than any other. I will never know another love like Yours. For Your love is beautiful and kind – generous and forgiving – warm and receptive – never rejecting me and never condemning. Oh, that I would know You – truly, fully, in all freedom and excellence.