2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT
'We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.'
All of us will have experience of just how easily the mind can be distracted sometimes with stray thoughts or questions. I have painfully learned over a number of years that my mind wants to direct my life, ahead of the Holy Spirit.
While the brain is an astounding organ, it is also consistently wired to take control of our whole being. When stung by a wasp, messages rush to the brain to report this incident; the brain analyses from experience that this is a threatening event and on the basis of this analysis sends back information and immediately the area hurts. I now know I need to take care of this, it’s an issue. All this happens in microseconds. While helpful here, there are times when the brain sticks its nose in where it isn’t required, such as in prayer. For the purpose of prayer is to be in close connection with God, a matter of heart ahead of mind.
So the thousands of books written on how to pray are for the most part models and techniques that may work in the first instance due to their novelty, yet can only ultimately fail us, since they are engaging our mind to lead our prayer. When praying about a specific issue, the mind interprets the impact it has, past, present and future. We battle hard to suppress what we decide are ‘unchristian’ thoughts, an exhausting and often fruitless activity. We eventually emerge exhausted, frustrated, locked back into the incident and to some measure, defeated. Problem is, we gave free rein to the mind.
Best to sit, acknowledge the incident and rather than engage the mind in crafting a series of words to bring to God, just quietly repeat the word ‘Jesus’, since Jesus alone is your help. The mind cannot take control because you are not utilising it to craft an intercession. You sit before God as the intercession. This is one way of taking every thought captive. Then, before leaving that space, give thanks to God for his love and acceptance of you, fractures and all. You are as God describes you, not as you think you are.
QUESTION: What thoughts regularly come to you that you need to take captive?
PRAYER: Lord God, help me to train my thoughts and my mind around your grace to me in Jesus Christ.