Bent Knees, Wet Eyes And A Broken Heart
(By Jenny Catton)
Way back in July when Paul asked for our experiences during the lockdown – what has become important or not – and looking at the future of the Church I had this real sense of urgency. I felt that the Church is at a crossroads and unless, as we move forward, we get it right in the Lord’s eyes we will still be Clare Baptist Church, this nice friendly Church but that is all we will be, and we will miss out on the blessings from God.
Most of the Church activities have had to stop or – like Sunday services and House Groups – have a different format. In some ways that could feel like a bad thing but in others it could be a good thing. I am sure some of the past activities at times have run their course, but no-one wanted to admit that and close it. But now Clare Baptist Church is a blank canvas and we have a choice. We are at a crossroads. One way is just to go back to all the activities we did before – when safe to do so. The other way is something possibly completely different which will be both scary and exciting – to step into the unknown with the Lord, doing and being what He wants not what we think we should be or do. To get out of our comfort zone, as a Church and as individuals, to something exciting, wonderful and new. We have prayer-walked the town regularly for the last 6 or 7 years but if feels as though the Lord is saying, “Now I want to do something new.”
Our Mission Statement is
“To follow and worship Jesus and to make Him known”
I think we are being challenged, the Lord is saying, “Is this really what you want to do? Do you really want to follow me and not just say it?”
But this is scary and will take effort and commitment from every one of us as members of the Church. If we truly want to do it then we have to start with ourselves. We need to get right with God and allow Him to take control of every part of us. To get our relationship right with Him first. The only way to do this is through Prayer.
A young missionary recruit asked a veteran Christian, “What equipment do I need if I am going to serve the Lord?”
The old saint replied, “Bent knees, wet eyes and a broken heart!”
Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise.”
The verse in 2 Chronicles we are looking at as a Church says this: – “IF my people who are called by my name, WILL humble themselves and pray…”
Then we, both as individuals and as a Church, will receive blessings. We are given a choice.
If we truly want to follow Jesus, then we have to become humble before God – not thinking of ourselves at all. This is not a one-off thing but every day. This is something I really struggle with. Someone gave me a picture many years ago of a house. When we become Christians, we have invited Jesus through the front door. Do we let Him in any further? What about all the secret hiding places where we store things we don’t want others to see or know about? To be humble is to open every nook and cranny of our lives and let God’s Spirit come in and clear out all the rubbish but this is hard.
When we do then we become fresh and new ready to be filled with whatever furniture God wants to put in us. To do that we have to pray continually. I know probably most of us struggle with prayer lots of times – I know I do. We think we need “flowery, holy words” or think “I am not very good at praying” or “God doesn’t really want to hear from me”. But the essence of prayer is simple – We speak. God listens. God speaks. We listen. We tend to make it so much more difficult than that. Bur God just wants a chat with us being honest in how we feel. It is the same for every one of us. If we really want to be God’s Church in Clare, then we all have to play a part. We can’t just sit back and leave it up to Paul and the Deacons to make the decisions and we just agree and follow on. We all have a responsibility in this if we truly want to follow Jesus.
Look at the life of Jesus. He had to humble Himself and come and pray to His Father all the time. Everything He did he prayed about.
He prayed – before a meal; for children; for the sick; with thanks; with tears; He made the planets and shaped the stars yet He prayed; He is the Lord of angels and Commander of the heavenly hosts, yet He prayed.
If Jesus needed to pray before doing anything so do we. Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane with “bent knees, wet eyes and a broken heart.” If we want, as individuals to be more and more like Jesus; if we want, as a Church to be more and more like the Church God wants us to be here in Clare we have to pray with our knees bent, our eyes wet and with humbleness.
So, are we ready to start off on this new exciting, scary adventure with the Lord and His plan for our Church? We don’t know what Church is going to look like in a few years’ time but if we follow God’s plan it will be great!!! Be excited and look forward with anticipation to see what the Lord is going to do in our Church and in the Community. But we need to always have “Bent knees, wet eyes and a broken heart.”
All of God, none of us.