As I prayed for my kids one day, I found myself grabbing for prayers. Fix-it prayers.
You see, my middle son has aspirations to play college basketball, and fear started speaking to me, “How will coaches find him in our small town of mountains and sage brush?”
My boat started taking on water fast. The more I prayed, the more anxiety I felt. Worry was grabbing the oars and paddling hard.
So I lifted my oars out of the water and told God that I was more anxious now than before I started praying.
I sensed His wink and a reassuring, “I’ve got your boy.” My oar dipped toward the water’s surface, “You sure?”
I felt God’s laughter as He said, “I’ve got him. I know the plans I have for him.” (Jer. 29:11)
I had somehow absorbed a negative belief about prayer when I was growing up. Difficulty would happen and the ladies in the church would promise to pray.
But I didn’t see victory through prayer. I saw disappointment and people clutching the edges of their hymnals every Sunday.
No one ever taught me this, but somehow I adopted the belief that God wouldn’t be moved unless I prayed HARD.
I thought fervency and frequency determined whether God would hear me. And any sin in me would decrease His desire to listen and undo all my hard work of praying.
It seemed quite exhausting.
Walking in Faith
But through the years of listening to Graham Cooke and others, I’ve discovered the lie in that belief system.
We don’t have to beg God to meet our needs (Matt. 6:25-33). We don’t carry the weight of responsibility for a particular outcome.
Praying out of fear and worry won’t accomplish anything. We deny God’s character and His goodness when we operate out of worry.
God is saying to us, “Do you trust Me? Can you rejoice in My goodness through this difficulty? Can you connect with Me and gain perspective through My eyes? Can you let go of control and let Me meet your needs? Can you believe that I have your best in mind? Can you trust Me when My best for you and your best for you aren’t in alignment?”
“And if you can’t trust yet, are you willing to let Me to reveal My goodness to you?”
And we need to realize He’s not saying that the difficulty in our lives is from Him. But He does promise to be with us and get us through it if we lean on His understanding and not our own (Prov 3:5)
I realized that my best prayer is to stand in a place of belief. Even if I don’t say a word my heart is smiling because I trust my heavenly Papa to do great things in my boy’s life.
Fear and anxiety hinder what God can do in our lives—-because we can’t listen to God and fear at the same time. Fear shouts. God whispers.
And we step into control when we hold hands with fear and listen to its poison spread through our minds.
Anxiety and fear leave us tossed in the waves. We can’t see the shore and we become frightened.
When we trust, we are open to what God is doing. Through intimacy and connection, we get a glimpse of His plans and we get to pray those plans into existence with Him (Rom. 4:17).
Father, stir and build my faith in You. I repent for unbelief. Take it far from me. I break agreements with the unbelief I’ve harbored. Some things are easy to trust You for. Others are like jumping off a cliff. I’m not there yet. Teach me Your ways. Please reveal Your goodness so I can walk in the freedom and joy You have for me. I want to walk free from fear and control, anxiety and worry. I want all You have for me. All those good things You established for me before the foundations of the world. Keep me in Your peace and teach me to fight the enemy for control of my mind. In Jesus’ name, amen!
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