Prayer, Plain and Simple

Facing a job interview can be an ominous and terrifying gauntlet. We’ve all been on the “scrutinized side of the table to face the grilling questions. “So what audacious arrogance leads to you imagine you are qualified for this esteemed position?” “When have you last won the Nobel Prize?” “What petty assets could you possibly bring to our already perfect organization?” “So how would you handle…” The stress is palpable. Our pulse races. Beads of perspiration build up on our forehead. Our stomach feels heavy as heavy as a bowling ball. Yes, sitting for a job interview is no pleasant experience.

God cares about the practical elements of our lives. When we depend on him he promises to be with us and to work to position us in a place that will step us toward our destiny. One of his most precious gifts is the gift of “peace.” Peace actually is one of God’s names – Shalom it is in the Hebrew language, and it means the state of a perfect fit, where everything is as it should be. We can pray for and receive shalom in our lives, just by asking and believing him for it. And what better to take to a job interview than a state of shalom. Here’s a specific prayer just this specific situation.

“God, I’m about to face a challenging interview for a new job. First, thank you for this opportunity. Thank you that you care about providing for my needs, and fitting me in the right employment situation is something you yourself are working to complete. I know I have you on my side in this matter. You are looking out for my best interest and I know you have a perfect job fit for me. If this is that perfect fit, then make it perfectly clear to me and to those who are making the hiring decision. Begin now to prepare the time and place where we will meet. Set the tone in the room. I know that first impressions matter a great deal, so help me to be the natural “me” that you have created, so that they can see through my nervousness and anxiety to the person you have created me to be. Give me a peaceful and sharp mind. Bring to my memory all the knowledge and wisdom that is already there. Let your joy and contentment flow out through my words. And whatever the result, let this process be a blessing to those who review my case, and also to me and my family along the way. Lord, right now I receive your “shalom” peace. I trust you to work in and through this interview process. I trust you to provide for all my needs. And if this is your perfect fit, then let nothing stand in the way. If it is not right, then close the door and lead me quickly to the right next step. In your name I bless those who will be conducting this interview. Give them wisdom, peace and rest as well. I receive now, ahead of time, your promise – ” I will never leave you or forsake you!” I believe this and oh, do I need it. I don’t go into this interview alone. You are with me. And with that confidence, I am at peace. Help me now to feel that peace. In Jesus…”

I have a friend who may be losing his home. Most of us know someone suffering under this crisis. The statistics are daunting. 2 million people are either in default or in immediate risk facing foreclosure. Numbers are one thing; faces and names and real human stories are another. I’m grieving for my friend. I can’t help him myself in any kind of financial way, but I can, and I will pray. Join me today in a prayer for all those under the shadow of the current mortgage crisis.

“Father God, you are our provider. You promise protection and provision for us, so we come to you today asking for immediate and practical help for all those at risk of losing their homes. Some of these financial problems were not caused by any individual; some perhaps were the results of unwise decisions. Either way, at this point Lord, we need and ask for your intervention and help. We ask for practical relief and a specific solution to the problem. Bring the right people together to solve this housing crisis in a creative and timely way. Provide a way to pay this debt, or remove or realign or restructure the debt. Whatever will prove the best and right course, do it, Lord! Father, bring hope and faith and a relief from fear and a sense of despair. You promise in the Bible to “make a way where there is no way.” This is time for that kind of miracle! Cut a new path through this impossible jungle. Save, and then bless this home! Your name is “Provider.” You love to prove yourself in this way. We humbly acknowledge that without your help, we’re helpless. But with you we pray, ‘I can’t; you can; please do; thank you!” In Jesus’ name we pray.”

The Eucharist Diet: A Gourmet Christian

March 2, 2010

Day 60

Weight: 195 lbs

Weight lost: -11 lbs

I’m meeting my friend Brian in 30 minutes to talk about how to make a feast. Serious. Brian is a professional chef – for real – and he’s something of a genius when it comes to food and hospitality. We’re going to talk about the connection between food and following Jesus. Brian has some ideas I want to hear about… See what strange things happen from focus! I’ve been focusing on food in my walk with God for 60 days and now I found myself planning feasts as steps of discipleship.

It’s not a new idea, really. Jesus loved to eat. We see him again and again in the Gospels feasting with friends and foes and strangers. And the early church made hospitality one of the core requirements of leadership. In fact my willingness and capacity to bring people into my life and home around a meal is really one of the non-negotiable elements in my elevation of influence in the Church.

So I’m going to see what I can learn from Brian. I’ll let you know what comes of it. I’ll also share with him what I’m doing with this Eucharist diet. It might be interesting to him, lover of food and lover of Jesus that he is!

“The Eucharist Diet” adventure is my six month experiment taking daily communion and tracking and posting the results in my personal life, relationships, health, and body fat percentage.

As of today, the “official” U.S. unemployment rate stands at 9.7% but officials are warning of more bad news for February. Estimates are that payrolls fell by another 50,000 last month lifting unemployment to 9.8%. And this does not include the long term unemployed who have stopped looking for work. These are difficult days…

God cares about our practical needs. In Jesus’ great model prayer – we call it “The Lord’s Prayer” he urges us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread.” This plank of the prayer recognizes that we need simple, down to earth provision and we can bring that need directly to God. Just a few paragraphs later in his long teaching recorded in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 6, Jesus promises that God, our Father, is aware of our need for provision and will respond when we ask. “Ask and you will receive,” Jesus adds.

Today we offer a model prayer for anyone seeking employment and the resources necessary for life.

“God, I would never imagine presuming on your favor, unless you had graciously offered your love. You have offered, and so I do ask. You have so many wide concerns; what am I in this vast universe that you should care for me? But the truth is, you do care. You invite me to call you “Father,” and to put my trust in you for the big and small things in my life. Today I come with a specific and pressing request: I need a source of provision. I acknowledge, as you say, that you are my true source. But practically, you deliver your grace through specific, down to earth channels. I need to connect with one of the specific sources right now. You promise that you will supply everything I need. I did not create this promise and the expectations it engenders. But I am choosing now to take you up on your commitment. Today, I’m asking for employment, and a way to work that will purchase for me and those who depend on me a sustainable income. Give me opportunity, and contacts, relationships, and a creative mind to consider all my options. Put me into contact with the right people. Give me favor when I speak to them. And with all the contacts I’ve already made, bring my name and what I bring to the table front and center to those considering my case. God, my Father, I’m asking specifically for a job, soon. I’m asking that you would place me in a situation that fits my gifts and experience and desires. Give me a role where I can serve and contribute to a meaningful organization. And now, when it’s most difficult, give me faith and hope to continue walking, so that I can have the strength to believe you and to help those who depend on me to believe as well. I pray this in Jesus’ name, trusting your words and your promises. I am hoping and expecting an answer! Thank you.”

Previous Posts