One of the pleasures of being a new parent is the experience of showing your child things for the very first time. So yesterday, Alycia and I decided to take Joshua to the viewing platform at Perth airport for him to see his first aeroplane. It’s actually a great spot as you can just come an go as you want.
Anyway, if you have been there before you’ll know there’s a plaque there that commemorates the very first manned powered flight that the Wright Brothers took in 1903, immortalised in the photo above. What I particularly love, is that they have made a stretch of concrete footpath that represents the 120 foot (36.56m) first flight of humanity.
As I stood there looking at the path less than two cricket pitches long, a huge A330 thundered overhead beginning it’s journey of 1000’s of kilometres and the sheer enormity of progress made since this first fight really hit home.
Moreover, that first flight lasted 12 seconds. Do you realise how slow that is!? I can do 36 meters in 12 seconds at a medium jog.
I realised that by today’s standards the first flight would barely count. Think about this: the dawn of aviation began by going a distance of roughly 2 tennis courts, at an altitude of less than a meter….slower than an electric wheelchair. That’s rubbish! In a sense, the Wright Flyer was a hopelessly inefficient, un-aerodynamic, rickety hunk of junk.
And yet, 36 meters is no less a flight than travelling to the moon and back. Moreover, once humanity got a taste for flight…..there was no looking back.
Why am I saying all this?
In a word; Prayer.
Do you long for a fighter-jet style prayer life but feel like your’re still at wright flyer performance? You’re probably not alone.
Moreover, I want to encourage you, weak prayer is still prayer. Weak praying is no less powerful than the most strong and confident prayers on the planet. Our weakest prayers are preordained by God.
Even our weakest prayers are preordained by God.
Away with this obsession with ‘confidence in prayer’. I’m so over it for two reasons; 1: the more books there are of ‘powerful prayer’ and stuff like that, the more discouraged people seem to become about their own particular prayer life and are tempted to give up on it all together. 2, confidence is important in prayer but the confidence must be in GOD, not us.
how do we know if our confidence is really in God?
When I read the Psalms, when I read the parable of the pharisee vs the tax collector in the temple or when I read the apostle Paul’s cries to God to ‘take the thorn away’ I don’t see ‘naming and claiming’ I see desperation. A holy desperation driving the soul to a naked honesty before God.
Think about it, you’re only completely honest to the person that you have the most confidence and trust in.
Prayer is prayer is prayer if it is bold in it’s honesty. Weather you’re at 40,000 feet or 40 centimetres. Because it’s not about how ‘high’ we soar but how far God came down to us in our weakness through Christ.
Let’s have more books on honest prayer.
So how then do you end up with a ‘Boeing 787 Dreamliner’ sort of prayer life?
Here again there is a mirror image in the history of aviation. Most of the greatest technological advancements in aviation came about as a result of warfare.
That’s right, unfortunately it takes the fires of trial and battles, often feeling like your losing it but nonetheless praying through it, never looking back. Because that is the only way you experience the realisation to be found at the centre of healthy prayer; the experience of having been saved illustrated so well in Exodus 19
Ex 19:3 “You have seen for yourself what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagles wings and brought you to myself.”
Do not be discouraged, Prayer is prayer is prayer if it is honest and in Jesus’ name. He will make sure you maintain a safe speed and altitude if you’ll just trust him.
All we have to do is have the courage to lift off.