A Hard Prayer

Praying ManI don’t really consider myself a “prayer warrior”, but I really want to be. I do pray often, but I feel like I’ve got much to learn regarding prayer. I’m still learning to pray about everything and worry about nothing. I want to have a consistent prayer journey with the Lord where I talk with Him throughout the day about every facet of my day and my life. I want to talk with Him during the menial, mundane tasks, like brushing my teeth, going to the bathroom, answering email, texts, etc.…

A healthy prayer life involves a lot of listening as well as talking. I’ve become a better listener with the Lord over the years. I’ve learned to pray with more depth of purpose, since learning to listen to Him. He speaks through silence. He speaks through loud people. He speaks through quiet people. He speaks in the nature. He speaks in the sunrise and sunset. He speaks in the smile of a child. He speaks more ways and in more situations than I could possibly count.

I do recall some prayers that are hard to pray. Jesus prayed a “hard prayer”, the night of His betrayal. He was troubled in spirit, because He knew what was coming. Check this out…

32 They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. 34 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. 36 “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Mark 14:32-36 NLT)

I don’t always “want” the Lord’s will. I usually want what I want. I can be selfish at the expense of others. I will sometimes complain if I don’t get what I want. I have learned that complaining really means I feel “entitled” to something. I think entitlement is a big issue in our culture today. I feel entitled to things that I really should earn. I often act like; others life should revolve around mine.  It is really hard to pray: “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” I’ve sat beside the bed of a friend as their loved ones prayed this prayer, only to have them die within in hours. I will passionately pray for what I want for hours on end, because I feel like to pray for “His will to be done” might end badly. I can’t always see what He sees. I can just see the here and now. The Lord see there and then – the future. I’m learning that He always know what is best. He always knows exactly what I need. In order for me to grow and mature in my faith, I need to have a child-like trust in Him. I need to pray for His will above mine, every time I pray. That is easier said than done, but I’m trying.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Amazing Prayer

 

Man praying with the BibleI believe in the power or prayer. Prayer doesn’t make me powerful, but I believe it admits powerlessness. I grew up learning about prayer and how powerful a tool it can be for a child of God. When my kids were small I prayed with them often. I remember one night when my daughter was really young; she prayed that it would snow during the night so that school would be cancelled. I tried to explain the weather systems to her and how it was way too warm outside to snow. She looked at me so innocent but very confident and said, “but God can change it”! I had no “comeback” whatsoever. God can do anything He pleases for sure.

I’ve heard the story of Solomon’s prayer but I saw a bit different perspective when I read this familiar story again this morning. Check this out…

6 Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the Lord in the tent of meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.

7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.(2 Chronicles 1:6-7;10-12 NIV)

There was nothing “showy or self-centered” about Solomon’s prayer. I found it significant that the Lord appeared to Solomon after he had been humbly before the altar in worship and offering sacrifices. The whole sacrifice ritual is one that I’m thankful that Jesus replaced. I’ve killed animals before and that experience shook me up at times. I remember the first time I killed a deer. I shot the animal from high up in a tree stand and when I came down to go over to it, it was still alive and I had to shoot it again. I can hardly imagine offering hundreds of animals as a sacrifice for my sin. I think the Lord wanted the death of the animal to disturb the person in such a way that they would not want to continue in sin. Solomon’s encounter with God happened after he had offered a thousand burnt offerings before the Lord. I have a feeling he was humbled and awed by the Power and Presence of God.

Solomon’s prayer was unselfish.

Solomon’s prayer was profoundly simple.

Solomon’s prayer admitted his own weakness.

The Lord’s answer to Solomon’s simple prayer was anything by simple. Not only did the Lord give Solomon wisdom and knowledge, but The Lord also gave him the other blessings that he hadn’t even asked for. I believe that a humble heart before the Lord gets the Lord’s attention like nothing else. Talk is cheap – anyone can pray an eloquent prayer, but a powerful and amazing prayer starts with a humble heart.

Pressing On!

Dwayne