|Depending on the Vine for all we need...|
I often find myself in prayer using words like "help me"...do well with this or that, "help them" to feel or see or accomplish this or that. As I reflected on these types of prayers, they began to sound like I had all the grand ideas and was telling God what I needed help with. (What?!)
Ted had planted the idea with me awhile ago and we've talked a great deal about it in recent weeks: When we pray, we are not asking God to help us with our agendas, but rather, we are asking to be sensitive to His Spirit so that we can join Him with His agenda at hand. I've begun to deliberately and carefully change my approach.
I do believe that God hears all our prayers and doesn't criticize the words we use -- He knows our hearts and understands what we are asking, so we should never be afraid to come to Him and spill our guts, however it all comes out.
But, now I've been coming to God, realizing my great need for Him. I know these situations I bring are far beyond my control or ability to do anything about. But nothing is too difficult for the Lord! I thank Him that He has everything under control, that He has a plan, that His love is infinitely deep. I remember that His wisdom is tremendously greater than anything I could ever dream up and that His faithfulness is so amazing as I recall all He's already given and already done.
Who am I to limit God or suggest my meager solution when there is no end to what He could or would do? I remember the great and wonderful "Who" I am talking to...that He is able, powerful, kind, gracious, loving, generous, merciful and just!
Prayer is humbling ourselves before the Lord, uniting with Him, admitting our total dependence, surrendering to His will and outcome. Prayer is powerful when we're focused on His word, His character, His promises. When we are filled with Him, there is no longer any room to have our eyes on our problems.
Lord, forgive my sometimes lazy prayers that sound like laundry lists of all that's gone awry in "my" world. Thank you for your great wisdom, power, passion and patience. You inspire me with many beautiful examples of total dependence in the Bible:
Hannah, David, Solomon, Daniel and, of course, Jesus.
(The colored names are links to their prayers.)