This is a picture that Gavin and I have in our house and it is such a wonderful and poignant reminder. I know there is a lot of discussion around the salvation and theology of our founding fathers. For a moment I would like to set that aside and understand what is being communicated. We serve an unchanging God. His attributes do not change. His faithfulness does not change. His plans can not be thwarted. He is not caught off guard. And from generation to generation He expects the same thing from His People. One in particular is prayer. What an intimate and precious gift that we have in this time in history, to pray to our Lord with the prompting of the Spirit. Have you ever thought that the people of the old testament lived on faith and cried out to God and did not have the Holy Spirit living indwelling them?
We MUST pray, not because God commands it but because our soul needs it. Our Heart craves to be in communication and in the presence of our Savior. When we don’t pray it’s because we don’t believe, we aren’t convinced that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. Be with Him. Talk with Him. Read back to Him the Words that he has spoken to you through His revealed Word.
Many times when I hear people pray they talk as if they are at a vending machine. Going down the laundry list of things they need and things they want, and when they don’t happen their response is almost annoyed and confused as if He was “out-of-order”. God is not here to satisfy our momentary cravings and desires. He is there to cultivate a heart in us that is dependant and content in the things that He is doing in our life.
Does our prayer change God’s mind? No. Does it tell Him something He doesn’t know? Absolutely not! When we pray it changes US! It reminds my Heart to trust God, it comforts my soul with HIS truth. That HE is in control. That He has ordained these things. That He will bring all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Prayer is a continual conversation. We are to pray without ceasing. If we were to truly be prayerful and thoughtful without ceasing in our day, we would trust everything that came to us during the day had first gone through His Hand. We should pray because, as sheep, we are dumb and get stuck in our forgetful habits that don’t reflect a heart that trust’s God, our good Shepard.
Please don’t pray your to do list. Pray for a heart that pleases Him, that trusts that He will accomplish His good work today. There is a way to pray that God will always answer. When we pay His word back to Him, claiming those truths for ourselves. Praying for an undivided heart, an unwavering Spirit, Godly wisdom, selflessness. Ask for a heart that reflects the Fruit of the Spirit. Do ask the Lord for specific requests, cast your cares on Him, make your requests known to Him, praying also that your faith and attitude would be the SAME no matter what outcome.
Please pray. There is so much more about the topic of prayer that we could discuss, but we will keep it here for now. Prayer isn’t like our fine China that only comes out at special occasions. This is our everyday dishware that goes outside, in the car, used by kids and around the house. We aren’t going to run out of prayer. It doesn’t need to be short. It doesn’t need to have fancy words. You aren’t wasting His time. You aren’t bothering Him. It doesn’t need to be at the right time. This is an all the time kind of thing people! It should be as consistent as anything else in your life. We don’t need to ration it. My High School Pastor always reminded us that, “Prayer is the greatest untapped resource.” Seriously when you have a problem what’s the first thing you do? Complain? Post it on Facebook? Google it? Call your mom? How about pray? He authored and ordained it. He is the beginning and end. Maybe He would have some insight on the situation? Here is the kicker…. do you repeat the truth that you have hidden in your heart to yourself?
We MUST get out of our sinful and worldly habits. We MUST have evidence of a changed life. We MUST respond to our situations now in a more God honoring way than we did in the past. We MUST respond differently than the world. We MUST pray. He is our only hope. We MUST pray in a way that reflects that our heart trusts God, whatever the outcome. God is never “out-of-order”.