How to come to the Lord in prayer

Originally published Monday, 20 April 2015.

1 Peter 5:6-7  “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”

Once upon a time a woman had a dream about three women praying.  Jesus drew near to each of them.  As He approached the first of the three ladies, He bent over in way that gave a tender touch and much grace, smiling as he could hear her heart expressed in her raw emotion.

Jesus stepped to the next woman praying and only placed His hand upon her bowed head, and gave her an approving look.  He moved to the third woman in the dream and passed her by without saying a word or giving a glance.

The dreaming woman watched Jesus as He moved around the praying ladies and said to herself, “How greatly Jesus must love the first woman praying, to the second woman he approved her, the third however must have grieved Jesus in a deeper way, because He barely stopped to listen to her prayer, only gave His silence to her without a passing look.

The story goes that woman who was dreaming inquired upon the Lord what the third woman had said that must have grieved Him over the other women.  To His response about the first woman, the Lord replied.  “How wrongly you have interpreted Me.  The first kneeling woman needs all the weight of My tenderness and care to keep her feet in My narrow way.  She needs my Love, thought and help every moment of the day.  Without it she would fail and fall.”

“The second woman has a stronger faith with a deeper love, and I can trust her to trust Me however things may go and whatever people do.” explained Jesus.   But the third woman, Jesus went on to explain, is one “whom I barely took notice of, she has faith and love of the finest quality, and in her I am training for the highest and holiest service.”

The third woman’s prayers are confident prayers in her relationship with Christ.  Her confidence is not reliant on her job title, her bank account, her circle of influence but rather her intimate friendship with Jesus.  She knows the Savior so intimately, and trusts so completely that she doesn’t need a physical touch, or an approving look every time she talks to God.  She is not dismayed nor discouraged by negative circumstances that enter into her life.

The third woman trusts Jesus so completely that even when her natural instinct is to doubt and rebel, she simply trusts because she knows that God is working in her for eternity and that it’s not necessary to know the purpose or explanation now.  The time she is effectively praying is for trusting, understanding will come later.

The story of the three women teaches us about how God responds to our heartfelt prayers in ways we don’t know about what is going on in our lives.  He cares about every little thing and every big thing.  He cares about every thing that is important to us.  Every one of our dreams, our goals, our hurts, bruises, and festering wounds.    But God is more than our crisis Manager.  He is the giver of life and love and for those reasons alone we can run to Him first with everything, every single thing.

Because of His heart of love for us, and is always working His favor in our lives, we kneel to His soveriegnty, faithfulness, and His abiding presence.  Because of who He is to me I can trust Him with all that I say to Him.  God is sometimes silent in His love and power, but I know and believe that He expresses beyond what words can say and certainly more than my mind can comprehend.  Where I have been growing the most is my understanding of His responses to my Spirit-led prayers and His responses from His deep heart of love.

It’s the work in me that only He sees.

Confirmations are exhibited without me asking for them, “to make sure I am on the right path.”  How often we look to His signs and wonders without believing that He can work a wonder in us without them.  I once found myself looking for the evidence of His hearing of my prayers over just simply trusting that God hears them all.  That day changed my relationship with God in prayer as I asked the Lord to give me a renewed trust in my faith filled prayers.

Praying in faith is believing that God is trustworthy with everything you lay before Him.  Yes, I do believe and trust in our friendship, the Lord and I.  Yes, I pray continously, and yes, I hear His answers.  When I hear His silence though I am learning to trust that all the more.  He is a God of many expressions and emotions, and because He is who He says He is, I can trust Him with all that I am.

How do you come to the Lord in prayer?