I read somewhere that when a man can’t open a jar, he has to throw it away and never speak of it again. Another guy told me that if he can’t open a jar, he comes back with a blunt instrument. What is it with guys looking for any excuse to crank up the chain saw? Okay, so I do understand a chain saw is not a blunt instrument. Unless, of course, you use it to try to pry open a pickle jar.
I admit I personally have an extremely underdeveloped jar-opening-muscle. It’s withered away from lack of use. That’s because I’ve been married all these years to a really great jar-opener. When Richie is out of town for any length of time, I’m in a real pickle, jar-wise. Not a pickle jar. A pickle. Jar-wise.
On the spiritual side of the story, however, I’m all about opening up. I never want to neglect exercising my faith by keeping a prayer connection with the Father open and active. We need to build spiritual muscle or we become withered, wimpy semi-believers who shrivel at the slightest pressure. It’s true, if we want to keep our spiritual muscle operating at full capacity, we have to consistently pray, thanking and praising Him, loving Him with our thoughts and words, trusting Him with every need, struggle and hurt, staying ever open and transparent before Him.
Allowing “prayer” to become merely a “churchy word” can happen all too readily. It’s easy to let it become more about what we want, or what we want others to think we’re doing, or what we say we’ll do, or even what we intend to do, than it is about communing with the Heavenly Father. It can become a ritualistic, empty religious duty in our hearts and minds rather than the enormously high privilege and sweet exchange that it truly is meant to be.
Any time we find ourselves stuck in a prayer funk, we need to give ourselves a little tap on the shoulder—a reminder of our vital need to open up those lines of communication and to see our intimacy restored. Paul said in Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer.”
We need to get extreme in that devotion, and to stay extreme in our desperate desire to faithfully connect with the Father, heart to heart. Romans 12:11-12 says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Dictionaries further describe that zeal as enthusiastic devotion and diligence, tirelessly passionate about a cause, idea, person or goal. That’s the kind of passion we want to take with us every time we enter our prayer closet.
A sluggish or apathetic spirit may squeeze out that passion now and again, but if we want to please the Lord and fruitfully live in His joy, we need to be all about getting right back on track in opening that prayer closet door.
That’s one thing we can always open on our own. With a grateful and expectant heart. And it’s the sure way out of any spiritual pickle.
Of course, now I’ve gotten myself all hungry for pickles. Guess I’d better call my husband. Somebody’s got to open this jar.