JULY 18, 2014
I'm Changing the Way I Pray
"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
The darkness of the morning filled the room. With my head bowed and eyes closed, I started to pray.
The usual words fell from my lips: Thank You for another day, for waking me up and for this time I have with You.
Then I leapt straight from thanking to asking.
Father, I pray for my friend. Be with her today as she has surgery. Go before her; take care of all her needs. Prepare the room for her. Guide the surgeon's hands during the surgery.
I pray for my other friend. She has great financial needs right now. Her burden is heavy. Will You make provisions for her needs?
I heard a whisper. Not audibly, but that nudging in my heart that I have come to recognize over time as God interacting with me: "Stop asking Me for what I am already doing!"
With a brow arched my mind replied, What, Lord? What did You say?
I heard nothing, so I continued my prayer.
I pray for one more friend. You know the loss she has experienced and the pain she has endured. Help her as she faces the battle.
Then another whisper, "Stop asking Me for what I am already doing!"
I paused again. More whispers from God followed.
"I am already with her ... I am Emmanuel."
"I have her healthcare under control ... I am Jehovah Rapha."
"I have already provided what she needs ... I am Jehovah Jireh."
"I see her battle. I am her banner ... I am Jehovah Nissi."
Still puzzled by the interrupting whisper, I closed my prayer time with a meaningful "Amen" and went on with the rest of my day's activities.
Later, in the busyness of the day, I experienced the "aha" of His whisper. I remembered 2 Peter 1:3, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." It all became clear. If God is providing, then I needed to stop asking and start praising.
God's Word always confirms His whispers.
My prayers had indeed become tired and mechanical. I often wondered if God even heard my prayers.
God was challenging me to examine my prayer list to find ways He was already working, and then praise Him! Praise Him for how He is already providing for my friends' and loved ones' needs.
Taking God up on this challenge has given me confidence in my prayer life. I know my prayers are being heard and answered.
What if we paused to examine our requests to see how God is already working, then praised Him for what He is already doing? It's a radical thought. It might mean readjusting our usual prayer time to make room for His whispers. He may ask us to talk less and listen more so we can be more intentional with our prayers.
Maybe God wants to interrupt your prayers, too. He doesn't want you to stop praying, but instead be faithful to press pause and start praising.
Dear Lord, help me examine each situation I am currently praying about, so I can praise You for what You are already doing. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing." (ESV)
James 5:16b, "The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with." (MSG)
Our Prayers and Answers Journal can help you track your prayers and God's faithfulness to answer.
Trusting God for a Better Tomorrow: A Study of Psalms (E-book) by Wendy Pope
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How is God responding to your prayers? How are you responding to His answers?
Commit to taking the I am Changing the Way I Pray Challenge for 30 days. Record in your journal the ways God is working in and through your prayers.
© 2014 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 18 July 2014.