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Failure To Pursue God

“In their right mind, human beings will pursue God as the source of satisfaction. But we are not in our right mind; no one seeks after God. And that failure to pursue God reflects humanity’s foolishness.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding People, Page 133

Questions for Reflection:
• Where do you tend to seek satisfaction apart from God?
• How does the reasoning behind this foolish pursuit mirror the decision Adam and Eve first made to seek fulfillment apart from God?
• Take some time to repent for the specific ways you fail to pursue God as the Source of life and joy and to thank Him for providing forgiveness and new life in Christ.

In Touch With Our Longings

“God appeals to people to enter into relationship with him on the basis of their longings. Therefore, knowing what our longings are and experiencing them deeply is important. Those who are not in touch with their longings will not be drawn to the source of their satisfaction.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, Understanding People, Page 133

Questions for Reflection:
• What longings have you refused to acknowledge, rather than wrestled with, in the presence of God?
• What is lost when you attempt to minimize or manage your inner emptiness rather than dialogue with God about it?
• Take some time today to bring before God any desires that you’ve attempted to shut down or have convinced yourself you shouldn’t feel.
• Wait in His presence and allow Him to meet you with Himself, as only He can.

The Tension Between God’s Kingdom And Your Own

“Praying the PAPA prayer has helped me feel less powerful. I sense deeper brokenness when I realize how strongly I don’t want God’s kingdom to come if it interferes with the arrival of my kingdom. That becomes clear when I look at the motives that direct how I sometimes relate to people I love. And then I realize that my weakness and brokenness are God’s opportunity to release His life more fully through me.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Page 50

Questions for Reflection:
• In what areas of your life are feeling the tension between God’s kingdom and your own?
• Take some time to offer your weakness and brokenness to God, asking for His life to be released more fully through those areas of struggle.

Getting God

“Christ’s relationship with His Father was the driving passion behind every request He made. Relationship preceded petition. His life is a profound demonstration of the point I’ve been making: that getting God is worth infinitely more than getting the things we want from God.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Page 49

Questions for Reflection:
• In what ways are you deliberately choosing to pursue relationship with God as your primary passion?
• What things do you tend to believe are necessary in addition to God Himself?
• What does trusting in other things for life cost you?

No One Else’s Pain

“Even there, in Gethsemane, [Jesus] trusted His Father with all His troubles. Their relationship, a brutally honest one, was everything to Him. Like any other human being, Jesus didn’t relish the prospect of torture. Unlike any other human being, He was prepared to experience the agony of ultimate loneliness because (and I’d never dare say this if it wasn’t clearly said in Scripture) it pleased the Father to bruise Him (Isaiah 53:10). Never was the Father pleased to bruise anyone else. No one else’s pain could get us into the family where God could reveal Himself as our Papa.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Page 49

Questions for Reflection:
• Is there any need you’re praying for God to meet that you’ve made an affirmative answer the litmus test of His goodness?
• What does Jesus’ heartfelt plea and His trusting acceptance of His Father’s “no” call us to believe being in relationship with God means?

What Did Jesus Value Most?

“And Jesus not only taught us how to pray, but He showed us how to pray. Never once did He place priority value on anything that would put distance between Him and His Father. Of course He wanted a good meal after His forty-day fast, but not if it would distance Him one inch from His Father. And if using His resources to protect Himself kept His Father’s kingdom from being displayed, He didn’t use them.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Page 48

Questions for Reflection:
• Take some time to read through the Gospels over the next week, considering the ways that Jesus, by His choices, not just by His words, revealed what it looked like for oneness with His Father to be His greatest treasure.
• What do your choices reveal about what you most value?
• Is there any change that the Holy Spirit is inviting you to make right now, in order to deepen your intimacy with your heavenly Father?

Pray In The Spirit, As Christ Did

“The Lord’s Prayer shows us how to pray in a way that honors the purpose of prayer. It moves us toward abiding in Christ, toward becoming aware of His life in us, with its heavenly rhythm and purpose. First things and second things begin to sort themselves out, and we pray differently. We want different things. We want what God wants. And we pray in the Spirit, as Christ did.”

Dr. Larry Crabb, The PAPA Prayer, Page 48

Questions for Reflection:
• Take some time to pray the Lord’s prayer, slowly, considering each part of it.
• What stirs in your heart as you do this?
• How does this prayer draw you away from making self-focused demands on God and invite you into resting in God?