This may be ironic considering North Carolina’s position with the current weather lately; however, this is perfectly relevant to us, and what prayer looks like. How many of us have just PRAYED so diligently for something to happen whether it be big or small? Yep.
I can even remember times where I prayed over over again for something that I THOUGHT I wanted. For instance, I prayed that God would just open doors (so generic – right?). I had no idea what door, but I wanted A door, any door to open. At the time I got laid off so I wanted some form of a future ready for me. I know I prayed that prayer well over 50 times every day for weeks on end.
I look back and I laugh at myself, because it got answered – just not in the proportion I wanted it to happen, or the way I wanted it to happen.
Sometimes when we pray we have this image of what our answered prayer will look like in our head. But, who says God is going to make your prayer look like the one in your head?
Because the outcome can be so different than what we pictured, we can feel like we are drowning in disappoint. We believe the prayer really wasn’t answered, and that God isn’t really listening.
Other times we feel that God answered too many prayers, and we can’t handle the change in our life fast enough.
And yet, in other instances, we feel that God didn’t answer a prayer at all because He answered in a form unrecognizable to us.
But let me tell you something. God hears every word you speak because he made your voice unique to your soul so that he can specifically tune into your words, and listen to your cries.
But many times we pray without the end in mind. We are “meal-minded” (thank you Pastor Steven Furtick). We pray and hope for the “next-thing” that doesn’t really fill us up, rather than our calling/purpose.
It’s like we pray for toys. When we were kids, at Christmas, we would ask for the best toy on the market. I really wanted baking kits, and stuffed animals. And each year the toys kept piling up. By the time I decided to move out of my parents house I had so much JUNK. I was lost in a sea of items I didn’t need. I had to shuffle through everything to decide what I wanted to keep – not much of it BTW.
BUT, what if I asked mom early on in life for things I would NEED when I got older? What if, I asked for a savings account to make moving out easier? What if, I asked for pots and pans at 15, a couch at 16, and cleaning supplies at 17? I wouldn’t have junk – I would have what I NEEDED. I would be thinking of the “end” in mind.
Rather than standing in a flood – I’d be floating down the river, because I would be smart enough to ask for a boat.
Good thing our God knows our needs. But when we pray, let’s be honest about our prayers, and not just “pray to pray” or to pray for the next best thing we think we need, but pray with a purpose.