Encouragement 01-20-05



January 20, 2005
Encouragement for Today

"Fast Food Prayer"
Leigh Gray, P31 Speaker Team Member

Key verse:

"Do everything without complaining or arguing..."  Phil. 2:14 (NIV)


Why do fast food restaurants display every toy that could possibly come in a kid's meal?  I mean, if they just said there was going to be one toy in the bag, life would be so much easier.  But no, they have to show every possible toy; tricking my kids into thinking they actually have a choice in the matter.  By the time we reach the counter to place our order, I am usually threatening my kids with no food for a week if they are not completely elated with the cheap toy that the kind and "so-thrilled-to-be-there" people behind the register have given them!  

One day, we made it to the table where I purposely gave my son the meal with a crocodile stuffed animal so when he is playing army, he can pretend it is chasing his men.  I was just thrilled that I had figured this out while holding a tray and my baby, pulling my first daughter from outer space, taming my very own army man, and finding a seat!
"Why are you crying?" I asked so hastily. 

"Well, I know that man went to a lot of trouble to get me this toy, but it is not the one that I really had my heart set on," my son sheepishly explained.

"Well, you know you don't always get what you want.  Sometimes we are given things we think we don't need or don't see the purpose for," I shouted in that soft, quiet teeth gritting way that only a mom can do and really mean it! 
On the way home, wondering why I go through that process so often, the Lord begin to speak to me in His patient but purposeful way. 

"Yes, Lord?  I feel your conviction weighing heavily on me right now.  What is it that I need to confess?  Oh, I know.  I have no patience and the sarcasm that I use with the kids is going to come back to haunt me in a few years. Forgive me, Father.  Control my tongue!" I now sheepishly prayed. 

Jesus gently laid it on me!  "Well, for starters, yes, your mouth is another area you need to work on but I want you to be aware of something a bit different this time!  You come to the fast food request line of prayer with all these "holy" desires and expectations as well.  Don't you know that I have the perfect plan for your life, what you need and don't need?  When I bless you with what you think is a "cheap toy", please don't cry and stomp your feet.  I have the big picture already worked out, "I AM and I know"!  Be thankful and quit complaining, my sweet child!  After all, aren't you always telling your children to do everything without complaining or arguing?" 

My prayer for today:

"Oh Father, please forgive me for thinking that I know what is best for myself. Teach me, even in prayer, to wait on you and listen to your will for me.  I am sorry for going through the motions at times, checking prayer off my list of things to do.  Oh yes, and Father, please forgive my tongue!" Amen.

Application steps

Get in the habit of writing out your prayers so that you have to slow down and think about them.

Be quick to listen and slow to speak.

Think of four small situations for which you can thank the Lord, even though you don't know how He is working in them.

Reflection points:  

Can you think of a time when you refused to wait on the Lord?

Do you find yourself asking or talking for most of your prayer time - instead of listening?

Can you think of a woman in the bible who had no idea what God was doing in her life, but praised him anyway?

Power verses

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."  Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."  Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Additional resources

Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes

Dreams of a Woman by Sharon Jaynes

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst

Originally published Thursday, 20 January 2005.