The Ins and Outs of Prayer
Can I share something a little personal with you for a moment? A memory that comes from my days of chemotherapy is a little something called an “I’s and O’s” list. When I was in the hospital receiving my chemo treatments, the doctors asked me to keep a list of “I’s” and “O’s.” The I stood for “Ins” and was a record of how much I ate and/or drank during the course of my day. The O stood for “Outs” and stood for…well, I bet you can figure that part out, right?
Why did it matter? Because I was receiving large quantities of chemotherapy drugs daily, and it was important for my doctors to know that my body was still processing (see also: getting rid of) fluids and waste in my body, so that I did not keep receiving without letting some things out.
Hopefully I have not grossed you out with this walk down my medical memory lane. Trust me, there was a reason why I brought it up in the first. The reason has to do with prayer. Yes, prayer. Prayer is the “out” to our vast consumption of spiritual “ins.” Have I lost you?
We live in a society where the Bible, preaching, and Christian conversation are so readily available to us. We receive and receive and receive. Those are our “ins.” But do we also release? What is release in terms of our spiritual lives? It’s giving back to God and others. Letting our prayers out before Him, giving away some of the knowledge we have received, helping or encouraging someone in Christ, or just plain using what we’ve been given.
You can’t have a long list of “I’s” with no “O’s.” It won’t work for your body, and it won’t work for your spirit, either. Today, make your own “I’s” and “O’s” list. Is it extremely lopsided? If so, make some changes starting now. Release so you have room to receive.