Thursday, March 11, 2010

Prayer...what it is & what it isn't...

"Prayer is a wartime walkie talkie, not a domestic intercom...
It is for advancing the mission, not calling the butler to turn up the thermostat."
~John Piper
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my prayer life. I've finally been really committed to getting up early to make time for prayer...and then, I find myself all knotted up about how I'm praying. Journalling seems a "no brainer" cuz it insures I stay awake at that very early hour in the morning. Should I use ACTS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication) or PRAY (praise, repent, ask, yield)? If I spend too much time on any one thing...I'll never get done. I mean...really praising God can be endless...and repentance, oh my...once I get started...ewww!

Around the time I'm frustrated with the "process" issues...I'm reminded that the Bible says, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thes. 5:16-18 and I know that is true. If the kids wake before I'm done...I can pray throughout my day too. It's not like I'm cornered into a 60 minute conversation with God. Duh! Yet, I still want that time to be special. I mean, there isn't a lot of quiet, just me, time to offer.
Then, I read this...
"Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full." John 16:24 So, what are the requirements for prayer? Being quiet and listening. Remembering it is a privilege. Most important, we must come identified with Christ. The unsaved might get a prayer answered...but we have full access! Next, we must pray in HIS name; remembering this is based on HIS merit, not mine. I have no entitlement. I am to humbly ask. Finally, we are to pray in line with Christ's character and objectives. HIS WILL! We need to see our circumstances through HIS eyes.

I feel soooo humbled. It's like a light-bulb went on. I vocally share disdain for the "name it, claim it" crew that use this verse to try to pigeon hole God into giving them what they desire. But how different am I really? Seeing things through God's eyes means NOT praying for an easy, healthy life...something I dwell on ALOT.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:23

Our prayers are answered in proportion to how God's Word shapes our requests. Peace and trouble do not negate each other. I think there are people out there preaching that this says, "take heart and YOU will overcome the world." WRONG!!! GOD has overcome the world.

So, I'm working on a new approach...stopping and listening...and trying to see my circumstances through HIS eyes. I love the Piper quote at the top of this post...I briefly talked to my Dad about it...and he said, "We pray better when we are pressured more." I guess, I really should be praying for more pressure. Eeeek! Guess I should pray for courage too!

pictures courtesy of smashingmagazine.com and channel4.com

2 comments:

Karen said...

Love the quote and those awesome pictures...and what your dad said about prayer...and your thoughts...hey...I loved it all!

Kayren, Pink Daisy Girl said...
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