Dedicating your life to the place of prayer stands against everything our culture screams. Having been a full-time intercessory missionary for a year now, it’s beginning to sink in that people may never understand what I live for or why it has any meaning. It is especially apparent here in California: a fast-paced, overly-fashion-conscious, tending-to-view Christianity as a “cherry-on-top” culture.
The RHOP “prayer room culture” is that of about 200 marketplace people who like to run in and out of the prayer room as if it were a gas station, a fill-up spot. The majority of them have never spent over 2 hours here (all at once). How can I blame them? We sure aren’t imparting an understanding of how to be in a prayer room; probably even some of the 14 staff don’t really understand. I don’t know anyone who spends 6 engaged hours in our prayer room; that should be the norm, not the exception.
I’m not trying to be a downer on RHOP; I love this place (though it is a far cry from what I was used to at IHOP and my love did have to increase over time). My frustration comes out of the growing pains of the process. I want people to understand that “wasting your life” before a holy God is a cause worthy of supporting. I want to somehow impart to them the understanding of a lifestyle of prayer, something so much higher than vending machine Christianity.
“Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, nevertheless they give up their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it, and then it’s gone. But to surrender what you are, and live without belief–that’s more terrible than dying–even more terrible than dying young.” -Joan of Arc
What inspires me about that quote is that, even if I am never understood here on earth, I have the fear of the Lord to be able to stand before my Father one day and tell Him that I strove to give my life as a fragrance before Him.