I confess it. My jar-opening skills are abysmal. Even with those flappy rubber jar grippers. Even with those wrench-looking jaws of life things they make for jars. Jars of life?
But in my defense, the chief reason I have no jar-opening skills is that I married an A-number-one jar opener. Without Richie Rhea, I would be in a real pickle, jar-wise. Not necessarily a pickle jar. But a pickle. Jar-wise.
I also have to confess that sometimes I can get myself in a real pickle on the spiritual side of the story. Anytime I neglect keeping a prayer connection with the Father a priority—an open and active connection—I’m heading straight for “stuck.”
We’re either building spiritual muscle, or we’re inching toward becoming withered, wimpy—weak and wishy-washy. It’s an ineffectual and small potatoes kind of life where we shrivel at the slightest pressure. One of the ways we build the spirit muscle we need to avoid the wimpy life is to be consistent in prayer. Praying to the God of the universe, thanking Him, praising Him, loving Him with our thoughts and words, trusting Him with every need, every struggle, every hurt, and staying ever open and transparent before Him. And by making all of it all about Him.
It’s easy to let our communication with God 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 it truly is meant to be.
Anytime we find ourselves stuck in a prayer funk, we can give ourselves a little spiritual 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; stay alert in it with thanksgiving” (CSB).
Devoted. Fully devoted. Alert. Thankful. With zeal. Romans 12:11-12 says, “Do not lack diligence in zeal…be persistent in prayer” (CSB). Zeal is often defined as enthusiastic devotion and diligence, and it describes a tirelessly passion about a cause, idea, person, or goal. That’s the kind of passion we want to take with us every time we open the door to our prayer closet.
We may hit a mood now and then, and that might squelch some of the passion for a spell. But if we want to live strong, serve well, and experience His joy, we need to get right back on track in opening that prayer closet door.
Yes, that’s one thing we can always open. With a grateful and expectant heart. Our next breakthrough so often waits for us just inside that door. It’s like opening up a jar of life. And it’s the sure way out of many a 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.