Wish Prayers -> Wholehearted Prayers
“Uggg.” My car’s map light had been on for an entire 10+ hour shift.
I hope you start. I glowered at the car and hesitated turning the engine key. Look, you already prayed so… I tried psyching myself up.
“No, you didn’t pray.” Another voice inside my head interrupted. That voice was right. I wished. I didn’t pray.
Our culture may think differently, but prayer is not a vague hope made to “the universe” and whatever powers may (or may not) be. Prayer is not positive thoughts about a person, decision or situation.
Too often we think about “them” or have strong feelings about “this” and are deceived into thinking, “Oh yeah, I prayed about ‘that’.”
We affirmed our own thinking. We sought our own counsel. We made ourselves feel warm and fuzzy. But…we didn’t pray.
Prayer is intentional, personal conversation with God. If I never purposefully brought the person before my Savior, I didn’t pray for them. If I never discussed those decisions with my Lord, I didn’t pray about them. If I never entrusted my circumstances to my Master, I didn’t pray about it.
But I can fix that, right now.
“Okay, God.” I looked at the ceiling of my car. “Please help this car start.” I pushed the key away from me and I heard the familiar purr of my ancient engine. I sighed. “Thank you, Lord.”
Worry Prayers -> White Flag Prayers
Duchess, my dog, worries while she sleeps. During her 18 hours of rest (required to keep her functioning at peak performance), she is inside, safe and warm snuggled up on her soft blanket. But that is irrelevant. She whimpers in fear, whines in hunger, and barks at cats that exists only in dreamland. She sleeps worried. She’s funny just like me… because I come to God worried, pray worried, and leave still worried.
I pray…then keep fretting over that person, choice, or situation. I act like prayer is another name for worry.
It seems to be irrelevant to me that the Lord of all Creation has promised hope and comfort (Isaiah 40:31, 2 Corinthians 7:6). I functionally ignore the fact that One Who is Always There has promised guidance and peace (Isaiah 58:11, John 14:27). I leave prayer the same as I came: suspicious of the One Who Never Lies and has promised every good thing (Psalm 34:10).
In reality, when we pray we enter the presence of the Lord of Nations. We speak with the One Who loves all, knows all, and has all power. There is no worry too small, no problem too veiled, and no heartache to big. For the child of God who believes and acts on this, our worry is supplanted with a white flag that says: “God You are so much more than enough. It’s Yours and I choose to worry no more.”
A Legion of Pigs
Across the Sea of Galilee lived a man who was completely subject to demonic control. He lived among the tombs because death was only thing he had to look forward to, until he met Jesus.
The demons within the man instantly recognized Christ for who He was, “Don’t send us to hell – not yet. Let us go into that herd of pigs.” Legion begged.
Jesus said, “Go.” And Legion was gone. And so were the pigs – who ran off a cliff into the lake and drowned. When the man’s neighbors saw the pig’s demise and then demoniac praising God for deliverance, they were filled with terror and begged Jesus to leave.
God in human form stood before them. Able to heal. Able to transform and empower. Able to forgive. Jesus came to them specifically for this purpose. This blessing was offered to a scant handful. Others had sought it diligently only to be rebuffed (Mark 7:26, Luke 10:23-24). But these men saw the Creator’s absolute power and, of their own free will, refused His gifts…because they were afraid.
Fear prompted them to shut themselves off from the majesty and blessing of God.
Lord, please don’t allow the fear in my life to do the same.
I Am Not
I am not Condemned (Psalm 34:22) – I am Forgiven (Psalm 85:2).
Therefore, I am not Hopeless (Romans 5:2) – I am Confident (Psalm 27:3).
I am not Cast Off (Leviticus 26:44) – I am Brought Near (Ephesians 2:13).
Therefore, I am not Blotted Out of the Book of Life (Revelation 3:5) – I am Secure (John 10:28).
I am not Forgotten (Isaiah 49:15) – I am Loved (Jeremiah 31:3).
Therefore, I am not Afraid (Psalm 112:7) – I am Courageous (Joshua 1:8-9).
I am not Forsaken (Deuteronomy 31:6) – I am Nurtured (John 15:1-2).
Therefore, I am not Moved (Psalm 62:6) – I am Steadfast (1 Corinthians 15:58).
I am not Ashamed (Romans 10:11) – I am Justified (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Therefore, I will not Act Hastily (Isaiah 28:6) – I am wise (Ephesians 5:17).
I am not an Orphan (John 14:18) – I am a Daughter of God (Philippians 2:15).
Therefore, I am not Alone (Joshua 1:5) – I have purpose (Ephesians 2:10).
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.