Yesterday I made a post about how God is a stripper, meaning that He strips things out of our life to make us more usable for Him. I’ve been going through some trying times in my life recently, and amidst all of the frustration and questions of “Why, God?” it was as if God said to me, “Jeremy, it’s because you’ve been praying for it! I’m only answering your prayers.”
Sometimes when the fire of God sweeps brings destruction to our lives, it’s because we’ve been praying for God’s refining fire.
You see, one of my life prayers has been for God to make me into the kind of person He can use to reach the kind of people that many churches cannot or will not reach.
Though the process has been painful, I believe that in order to mold me into that kind of person, God has has to strip me of some things.
The answer to “Why, God?” is “He is answering my prayers.”
In fact, He’s answering my “life prayer.”
My life prayer is not found in the Bible.
Oh sure, I pray the prayers in the Bible, and I pray Scripture, but the prayer I pray most frequently was penned by my favorite poet, John Donne. If I had realized how painful the answer to this prayer would be, I’m not sure I would have ever started praying it (a similar prayer is found here).
Anyway, here is my life prayer, as prayed first by John Donne in Holy Sonnet XIV.
Holy Sonnet XIV
Batter my heart, three-personed God; for, you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend.
That I may rise, and stand, overthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurped town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end.
Reason your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captive, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betrothed unto your enemy:
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.