I sit praying for names, and faces, and the guilt comes. It used to be I only had one or two that I fervently prayed over each night. I’d spend hours on my face before God on behalf of one. Now? There are so many. I could easily fill a months worth of days with names of the spiritually needy, most roughly within a decade in age, that I’ve met, and committed to pray for at various times or places. Now it’s “God take him, and him, and her, and him, and her, and… wrap them in Your arms. Show them (or bring them back to) your salvation. They need you. Help me be a witness. Amen.”
I want healing for these people; I want to have time to pray for each and every one. The reality is that I don’t. I don’t have time to pray long and hard for each name. I’m just one person. And so I keep praying. I reassure myself that the Spirit knows my heart for each person and will intercede with the groans and emotions that I cannot adequately express. But still, I sometimes feel guilty. Sometimes I don’t feel spiritual enough. Sometimes I go beyond acknowledging insufficiency, and begrudge myself because of it.
I know what I need. I need to accept my humanness; that this shell which contains my soul is imperfect. I need to rely on a God who chooses to use imperfect vessels. I need to realize that it takes time to mature in Christ. I know what I need to accept, but honestly I still struggle. I know that it’s supposed to be a love (not guilt) relationship, and I do love Him. I want to grow more. That more takes time, and a patience I do not possess. I need His help, His grace, His strength to make it through. That’s me right now: still struggling, still imperfect, still needy. I’m no super-Christian, and I like to know that I’m not alone. So tell me, has misplaced guilt ever got to you?
(As a side note: I did make a list of names last night. It was longer than a month. It’s at 54 and growing.)