Yesterday I woke up with a very distinct burden to pray. There was a sense of something dark occurring that God wanted to bring light into. I truly felt like I needed to pray on my knees the whole morning.
I prayed a little bit, but then I lost my sobriety and that made my mind fuzzy to pray.
Sobriety. It’s a real issue.
And it isn’t just stolen away by alcohol. Thankfully I’ve never been one to drink at all, actually hate even the smell of liquor, and hope that this remains the entirety of my life. I never want to go down that road.
But there are many things that cause us to lose our sobriety. And for me yesterday, before I went to pray I lost that sobriety. I watched a YouTube video right before I went to pray that utterly captivated my thoughts and mind. The singers experience something entirely unexpected during their singing. I watched it almost 50 times (something I NEVER do) and it totally took over my mental space.
I tried to read the Bible and I couldn’t because I just kept thinking of this video. I tried to pray, and couldn’t do it. I tried cleaning house thinking if I could keep my hands busy, my mind would focus better. It didn’t work. Prayer was minimal.
Even though it was a very fun video, it overtook my mental space and my ability to pray.
“Be alert and of sober mind” (1 Peter 5:8)
Social media and the internet are huge in their capacity to crowd our mental space. We read the news and shake our head at all that is happening in the world. We hop on Facebook and offer our likes and comments to our friends. And most addictive of all, we watch YouTube not realizing hours have passed.
Social media proves unequivocally that we have plenty of time to pray and study the Word. And don’t.
This things crowd our mind and we become drunk on the news or intoxicated with YouTube or distracted by Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or whatever. And it hinders us.
Yesterday whatever was happening that God burdened me to pray for, I hope there were more faithful people than myself. People who considered their mental space sacred and holy unto the Lord. Because I missed the boat. And who knows the cost?
So today I didn’t have the heaviness, but again I felt the need to pray. Honestly that same video was tempting me to watch it again, “just once.” But today I knew better. I decided not to go there. It afforded me space to pray for the things happening in the world which are of no small consequence.
To be sober minded and alert we have to guard our mental space. That means saying no to things we really are addicted to but don’t fully recognize or admit.
O God, help us all.