Praying from these Jars of Clay
Begin by praying the Lord’s prayer.
“But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we, are the work of Your hands” Isaiah 64:8
It takes twenty hours to fire a piece of pottery. So the potter must patiently wait for the finished product. All pottery is made from the clay in the earth. Different properties are added to make each piece unique. God creates every person with a purpose. He is our Potter, and for that reason He is always employing change into our lives, as He deems necessary. He wants us to always be “in His style.” He is continually transforming us into His image, preparing us for “forever”.
When we open our mouths to pray this most powerful 21 second prayer, we are praying from our jars of clay. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by the hands of our Creator. We are in process. No other vessel is made like ours.
God created us to have fellowship with Him through prayer.
He formed Adam from the dust of the ground, the earth. The earth, the clay we are made of, is in us. King James Version declares,
“Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”
- The word “in” implies inside of. Some versions say on earth as it is in heaven.
- “On” implies more on the top, versus inside of.
- God touched the earth to form the people with whom He longed to have fellowship. Each person is individually created to have fellowship with His Creator. Just as water is poured from a clay jar; Jesus wants you to pour out your prayers and petitions to Him from your clay vessel.
There are many times we don’t understand everything God is doing in and through us. Life can be hard to take. There are times we question Him, “Why are you allowing things to be this way?”
“Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, “What are you making?…” Isaiah 45:9
John Piper said:
All our frustrations with ourselves and with other people, even our inabilities are gifts from God. Our frustrations teach us how to pray fervent, effective prayers that avail much. These bring moments of grace causing us to depend upon God.
He longs for His will to be done in earth; as it is in heaven. In order to discover His will; we must be willing to receive and learn from all He allows into our lives.
There was a time when heaven and earth had no boundaries. It was in the Garden of the Lord, where the Lord walked with Adam. From the beginning; God created people to walk with Him. Do you only talk with Him on Sundays when you are in His house?
As Lisa has encouraged us in her Life and Home series, He longs to walk with you in your home – upstairs, downstairs, in our living rooms and gardens. God is with you in every decoration, every memory, every shared conversation, all that makes up your home. He wants you to pray inside, outside, all around your house. All of these identify who you are in Christ Jesus. Prayer has no boundaries.
I know a pastor’s son who asked the question; “Why would someone pray God’s Word back to Him? He knows what He said.”
Praying God’s Word back to Him is the most powerful prayer you can ever pray.
When you pray God’s Word, it’s the one ingredient that strengthens the clay from which you are made.
You are addressing your Father, the One who created you. He longs for you to acknowledge the truth of what He said. It is music to His ears and just as you open the shades in your rooms; He will open up windows of heaven, so that there is not room enough to receive His blessing. Malachi 3:10
We are sinners and need forgiveness everyday, moment by moment. We cannot bear our guilt. The weight of it will crush our clay vessels over and over again. After clay vessels are fired, they can be easily broken. There doesn’t seem to be any forgiveness, when they are shattered. They seem good for nothing. It makes a terrible mess. Believe it or not they can be broken down to be used again by the potter. Although being crushed can be quite messy; thankfully when we are crushed and shattered, we are not abandoned; our earthen vessels can be remade by our Potter.
The very heart of the Lord’s prayer is pregnant with forgiveness. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
The Greek Word for forgiveness is charizomai. It means bestowing a favor unconditionally; to show one’s self gracious and kind, benevolent or grant forgiveness, to pardon.
Aphiemi means to send away. The word indicates forgiveness of debts, trespasses, blasphemies, lawless deeds, wickedness and sins.
1 John 2:12 “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His Name’s sake. If you’ve owned a piece of pottery, you know the potter always inscribes his or her name on the bottom. Most humans forgive conditionally. We will say, “I forgive you, but…” God forgives us unconditionally, for His Name’s sake. “You are inscribed on the palms of His hands,” Isaiah 49:16. If you’ve ever been broken-hearted by hurtful words or deeds, God knows you need help in forgiving. Although not comfortable, He allows these words and deed into our lives because they are necessary to train us in righteousness. Our vessels will become more useful for the kingdom.
I began to break down the word for-give. God told us to pray in verse 11 of the Lord’s prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We are to depend upon and ask God for the things that are needful to sustain our lives. Then comes the word for-give. For is a preposition which means, the object or purpose of, intended to belong to, sensitive or responsive to, desirous of, a longing for something. We need God’s forgiveness and He needs for us to learn to give out forgiveness readily, easily, to keep no record of wrongs. Give forgiveness as freely as you have received it from your Potter.
Twenty hours to fire a jar of clay is a far cry from twenty one seconds to pray. God patiently waits for you through all the making and the breaking, to come to Him. Pray from your jar of clay. Pour out forgiveness willingly. Not, “I forgive you, but…”, instead, “I forgive you without conditions.”
Do you want to be transformed into the vessel your Potter intended you to be? Do you want Him to accomplish His will in earth as it is in heaven, in your family, your home, your church, your work place, your neighborhood? Beautiful jar of clay, pray the Lord’s prayer one more time and then do what He tells you to do.