If you believe in a higher power at all, then you have probably asked that higher power for something at least once in your life. For Christians, we know this Higher Power is God. He is the Supreme Ruler and Creator of all, and His Intelligent Design set us all into motion. That’s a lot of Power that we have all taken for granted (1 John 5:14). How often do we go to God with mediocre prayers? We ask God to watch over the dog, water the grass, to have a good night sleep, and for it not to rain this weekend so we can go to the lake. I know that God cares about the little things in our lives, but I can’t help but wonder if God yawns when we pray. We pray repetitively, we pray simply, we pray for what we’ve already been given (Matthew 6:7). Sure, we sometimes follow Scripture in our prayers and ask God to protect us, provide for us, mold us, teach us, and use us. But what do we mean exactly? Have we thought about that? Aren’t we still praying it safe? Don’t we really mean: God use me today as long as it is in my comfort zone, in my time frame, and without too much of an inconvenience? To some, we may only pray to the all powerful space daddy when the lottery gets really high — we pray to win! Or when our favorite sports team is playing, we pray for them to end up on top! But to what end? For what purpose? Our own pleasure? Does it truly please God or aid in our purpose for existing? Again, God does care about the things we care about, even if they are insignificant — but is that all we are praying about? Is that all we are living for?
COMMUNICATION WITH GOD
Prayer is not the easiest discipline to develop. We get busy, we’re distracted, we have doubts and grow weary. But even in creating a habit, it is easier to just say the same rehearsed prayers over and over, night after night, and check it off the list rather than tune in to what we are actually saying. I would contend that most of us do not have a consistent prayer life and those that do are high risk for ritualistic praying. This has to be because we lose sight of who God is and what prayer is for! God is our Father, our King, our Savior! Prayer is the communication bridge of our relationship with Him. What if God and I made some plans to fulfill our purpose here? If money weren’t an option, if there were no limits, what would I do for God? What would I build to further His kingdom? What would I need to get there? Who do I need to become to be capable of pulling it off? This is what I should be praying for!
Do you think God gets excited when you pray? Is He pleased by your praise? Is He eager to do what you ask because it is in His Name and for the sake of His kingdom (John 14:13)? I have to wonder — am I praying in a way that will change the world for Jesus’ sake? Am I praying in a way that will change me? If how I live is based on how I pray, am I living too safely, too?
“I WANT TO SAY: HEY JESUS, THIS WAS CRAZY AND IMPOSSIBLE, BUT YOU DID IT THROUGH ME…”
I know that’s a lot of questions packed into a few paragraphs, but I think they are necessary ones. I’m not writing them all out just to challenge you — I am at the front of the line, confronting and questioning myself! Am I where God wants me to be? Am I doing what God created me to do? And is my prayer life guiding that? I don’t want to get to the end of my life, face Jesus, and realize that I did a mediocre job for Him. I don’t want to say: Here I am, Jesus, I survived a long time, I kept my kids alive, I had a decent savings account and we lived moderately according to the American Dream. No, I want to say: Hey Jesus, this was crazy and impossible, but You did it through me and I gave everything for Your sake in faith and hope and love. Amen.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. ~ Matthew 6:7
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. ~ John 14:13
And this is the confidence that we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. ~ 1 John 5:14