The other day I found myself praying like a beggar instead of a daughter.
“Please be with them. Please help them.” It was a default prayer. I had a concern and pushed the play button on my auto-recorded prayers. The ones from yesteryear when I didn’t believe God would really listen unless I tugged on his robe long enough to get His attention.
And then I would have to pray frequently and fervently enough to draw that attention onto my concern. I lived in a place where I believed I was more concerned about my issues than He was. That was my faulty belief system.
I was picking cherry tomatoes from my tiny little garden (think big plot, few plants and an abundance of weeds skirting my broccoli and peppers) when I caught myself doing this. I crunched down on a sun-warmed tomato and pushed stop on the orphan prayer.
Why was I praying like that? Did I really need to petition God for His attention when He is wholly focused on my life and the lives of those I love? And cares even more than I do.
Perhaps one reason we beg and plead is we don’t trust. We worry that God’s desired outcome won’t line up with our need for a security the world offers. Job security, financial security…
What if His plan is to cut us adrift from all we think we need to be “happy?” What if His plans are designed to loosen our hold on the things we want to control?
But fear and doubt do nothing except move us farther from the Source of goodness and hope.
If we go to God with agenda in mind (“I need x, y, and z to happen, Lord”), we will likely end up feeling disconnected from God with our distrust of Him increasing.
It’s almost as if our hearts trip from problem to solution, bypassing God except to plead, “Fix it. Oh, please, fix it.”
I think we often miss the critical element of relationship with the Lord.
What is He thinking about our problem? What does He want to see happen? What role does He have for us in it: praying intercessor, an action He wants us to take, or just resting in peace without holding onto any part of it?
The only way to discover this is to ask Him.
What if, instead of going to fear or frustration—–which always, always leads to doubt and unbelief—–we go to Him? Not tugging on His robes, but inquiring of His heart.
And when we bypass thoughts of fear and doubt to climb onto His lap and listen and wait for direction and clarity, we abide in His peace. We get wrapped by His assurance.
When we go in faith, knowing He is good and has our best in mind, we’ll discover deeper levels of trust, peace and contentment despite our circumstances (Matt. 6:26).
Father, help me to come to you without an agenda, trusting that You are surprised or worried by my situation. You have a beautiful plan that will bring me closer to You, into deeper levels of trust. Show me how to let go of fear and step into faith. You always catch me when I jump of the fear cliff. Thank You for Your goodness. Give me deeper understanding and help me to step into all You have for me. In Jesus name, amen!
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