Prayer is such a wonderful gift... It is a powerful tool of communication between us and a Holy God. All too often I forget the conversational aspect of prayer and, instead, turn into a broken record who constantly repeats a concern like He couldn’t hear me the first time. In my moment of need, it’s like I feel that the longer and louder I pray, the better chance I have of a response. I am sure that I’m not the only one who has lapped the prayer track needlessly =) My scenario usually goes something like this:
I bring a hurt/need/desire of my heart to the Lord in prayer. I wait an hour or, if I'm really disciplined, a day or so. At some point I feel the worry begin to grip my thoughts and – alas – I have no answer. Sooooo, I ask again. I repeat myself. Maybe this time, to really make my point, I do it through tears or I yell or I shake a frustrated fist… If I pull out the big guns, I may even go to making promises and bargaining.
Recently I read something that busted my frustrated heart from this cycle of repetition. It spoke so beautifully and clearly about the need we often feel to repeat ourselves and the anxiety sick heart that can be born of that process. Once we've prayed and brought concerns candidly to the Lord…
” Then, thank Him for the answers that He has set into motion long before you can discern results. When your concerns come to mind again, continue to thank Him for the answers that are on the way. If you keep on stating your concerns to Him, you will live in a state of tension… Thankful prayers keep you focused on His presence and promises.”
(Excerpt taken from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)
I can't even put into words the freedom that reading that brought me!! I can stop repeating myself and digging a deep trench of doubt and anxiety! He is not waiting for a magic wording or for me to hit an appropriate number of "Please Lord"'s! I can stop feeding the selfish, nasty monsters of worry and fear.
As I wrote this I was hit with the truth that I would likely be sharing this with some brothers and sisters in Christ who have deep and real and time sensitive needs. They may have a dear friend who is battling a terminal illness and time is of the essence to their healing. A best friend is desperate for a baby and has been trying for years. Someones child needs to find the university the Lord has for them and the commitment deadlines are quickly approaching. There are many hearts that are generally weary of the waiting...Whatever the case may be, I simply say that God is the God of our today and our tomorrows and, while we live under the pressures of time, He is beyond them. Continue to believe and know and thank Him for the answers that are already set in motion. Rest deep in the fact that He has NOT forgotten you.
“Thank you Jesus that You hear the cries of desperate hearts and desire to respond out of a love so deep that it led you to the cross. Thank you for the solutions, the answers, and the strategies that are already in place even before our situation changes. We believe that You are good and will never forsake us… Cultivate in us a restful heart and patient spirit. May we never lose sight of the One who holds our today and tomorrow.”