I am going to let you in on a little secret.
(No. I am not pregnant)
Last year I changed something HUGE in my life!
(No. I’m not talking about my big 80’s hair)
I simply decided to quit saying a bunch of useless nonsense in my prayers.
Have you ever listened to yourself pray?
What in the world are we thinking sometimes?
As a writer, I write inside my head pretty much 24/7. Most of it will never see the light of day, but I create sentences about what I see, feel and hear….all the time. Then I try and grammatically correct those sentences, which causes me to google grammar rules. 🙄
This writing habit is annoying when I want to relax because I begin writing in my head about how the chair feels or the heat of the sun or the crackle of the fire in the fireplace. Characters come and go, relationships are formed and broken, and the “once upon a time” never gets a “the end”.
Unfortunately, I find myself “writing” during my prayer time. I imagine myself talking to God, I “see” myself at His throne. I begin wondering if He is disappointed because I have to get a pillow for my knees mid-petition. Or does He roll His eyes when I gasp because I have been holding my breath as I bow to the floor and my stomach fat has gotten in the way. (Can I get a witness?)
Once I manage to get myself in control I can finally get down to business, but some days it is harder than others. I can REALLY phase out and nothing short of His Holy Spirit tapping the shoulder of my heart can get my attention.
Shortly after we arrived back on US soil last year, I gathered all of my children into the living room of the guest apartment we were staying at behind a church here in Pensacola. I laid out our immediate needs to them and we were going to pray and talk to God about them. There was so MUCH that had to happen and I was so worried, yet I was trying to put on a brave face for my children.
I began thinking of how most people have little idea of what furlough entails for a missionary family. I began constructing a letter in my head about the look on my kid’s faces. They were looking to us to get it all resolved and frankly, we were worn out.
I decided that we needed to pray and let God show our children that He could take care of every last detail.
As we prayed, I suddenly realized that God already knew EVERYTHING of which I was in need. Why? Because they were actual, physical needs. So while pondering this, I cut my diatribe of useless words (that sound good for the sake of praying) and I said:
“God, meet our needs.”
That one sentence of petition changed everything.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:33-34.
I have read books about prayer, listened to wonderful sermons on prayer and even written on prayer, but the fact is, no one can REALLY tell you what is happening when you pray. It is something we do in faith and belief in Jesus Christ.
I don’t understand how my spirit communes with God.
I can’t describe prayer in words.
But I know something happens when, by faith, I direct my heart and words towards God.
And I know God hears and answers those prayers.
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” I Peter 3:12
This verse is not speaking about our personal righteousness, but rather the imputation of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. When we pray through faith in Jesus Christ, God is pleased at seeing us cloaked in Jesus Christ and responds to that faith we are placing in Him as His children.
You would NOT believe how many times I have whispered to God this year as I have looked at my circumstances and I have said, “God, meet my needs.” And the needs are not only met, but in abundance.
I am not only speaking about financial needs. I am talking about food, lodging and clothing.
Listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 6:
”Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
In his book, “The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached”, Pastor Tom Brennan says,
“God is fully aware of the fact that we need to eat several times a day. He knows we need clothes on our back and a warm, dry place to sleep. One of the amazing benefits we get when we belong to Him is that He takes upon Himself the job of providing for those needs.”
This is so good!
We don’t need to pontificate and try to convince God with long boring prayers asking Him to act on His promises to clothe and feed and house us! He said He would.
And God always keeps His promises.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not covering all areas of our prayer life. I am specifically referring to our immediate physical needs.
And I am not saying that the words of my prayer were some magical formula. Rather, I think it was a shift in my thinking.
I was choosing to trust Him implicitly.
God has provided shelter for my family this year.
God has provided food for our bellies and clothes for our backs.
There was never a cause for worry or fear. I have trusted Him, done my part in tithes and offerings and He has met my needs. Not because of who I am, but because of Who He is!
Dwell in the thoughts from Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Read carefully what He says and apply it to your life. Ask Him to meet your needs and then trust Him to do what He promised.
Until Next Time, Lord Willing,