When it comes to having a relationship with God and the things it takes to reach others, we all have gifts. Prayer warriors, those people amaze me. I’m pretty sure they’re called warriors because no one, and I mean no one, can touch them. It’s like their prayers are a package of perfection from start to finish. No flawed words, missed beats, or awkwardness come out of their mouths. “They flow like a harpoon daily and nightly. Will they ever stop? Yo, I don’t know.” They for real rock a prayer like vandal. Vanilla Ice would be proud of their flow. Then, there’s me. I’m NOT a prayer warrior. Admittedly, that is not my gift. I can do many things, but public prayer is not my strong suit. Privately I pray, and it’s just fine! Publicly, my face is fire, my palms sweat, and my words are like 15 rough drafts of a prayer being chucked into a trash can all at once.
Example: Sunday before church we had our church pre-worship meeting for all volunteers, leaders, and teams. We always circle around, hold hands, and someone leads us in prayer. I usually feel it coming when I’m about to get called on, so I try not to make eye contact. “Robyn, will you lead us in prayer?” Here’s how my prayer went down: “Dear God, thank you for this day. Thank you for allowing us to all be here together safely today. Please be with Brother Darrin this morning as he delivers the message. I pray that it touches someone who needs it today. If there is anyone out there who is lost, I pray that this message touches them and allows them to find you. Please help us use you as our tools… your tools… ummm… please help us… Whatever… Just use us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.” It was awkward. It was funny. As I was saying “…please help us…” my husband laughed, then I laughed, and so did everyone else.
We mess up sometimes. We fall short. We bomb prayers like a boss. God has a sense of humor. He knows I’m a mess. He knows I suck at praying. Maybe he’s testing me to make me stronger. Maybe he’s doing it because someone else out there is afraid to publicly pray because they will mess up. Maybe someone was having a bad morning, and that brightened their day. Whatever the reason, I’m thankful for the gifts he gave me. I’m thankful that I’m a mess because that’s how he uses me to reach others. Not everyone has to be a perfectly packaged prayer warrior. Some of us can be tattered packages that the mailman left at the door in a rainstorm.
Did your parents ever trick you at Christmas by wrapping your tiniest, most prized gift in the biggest, weirdest, and most confusing box? They did it for show, to throw you off, to make you guess about what it was. They did it to see your face when you opened a toaster and laughed about it but secretly felt disappointed inside. You move on to the next, better gift, laying the toaster aside. Then, they ask you why you didn’t open the box. “Open it!” they say. You don’t want to because you are embarrassed, your brothers and sisters might laugh at you. You are scared to because something scary might pop out. Slowly and cautiously you open it. Instead of seeing a toaster in there you see something awesome and actually useful. What awkwardly wrapped gifts do you possess but are too scared to open and use? Is something you think you’re not great at? Maybe you think you suck at it, but God will use you exactly like you are. God uses us all, no matter how messed up we think we are. If we are meant to grow we will grow. If we are meant to publicly bomb prayers, we will. Let him use you boldly, and if you mess up… It’s ok, you’re not the only one. Open your toasters people!
(1 Pet. 4:10) Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
(Romans 12:4-6a) Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.