Mar 11, 2011

Pray with a purpose

I was talking to a friend this week about some anxieties I've been having in my life.  He wrote me back one statement (via e-mail) that really made me pay attention.  He said if something is truly bothering me, I need to pray.  Pray to myself all day. He also said to be hot or cold -- not lukewarm.  Being "in the" middle about anything just isn't the way to go, if any aspect of life.

I'm not a stranger to prayer, but that conversation replayed in my mind over and over.

Then, I was at Target yesterday and found a devotional by Joyce Meyers in the book section.  I opened it up to the 10th and the page read, "Pray.  Be diligent, be confident and be specific. You have not because you ask not.  God wants us to pray with the intention that we deserve what we ask for; He doesn't want us to be lukewarm, scared, or feeling as if we are guilty, undeserving and wrong." 

I'm pretty sure that wasn't a coincidence.  For me, I pray before I go to bed.  I'll say a little prayer before I have something big to do, or if I hear bad news I'll pray.  However, I want to start praying for things even when I'm not in specific need of help.  I can't speak for everyone, but when disaster strikes or something emotionally hurtful happens, I start praying for solace and refuge, which is normal.  But instead of just praying in habit (like before bed) or in times of need, I should pray for the little things in life.  Pray that I'll have a good day.  Pray that I'll be able to acccomplish all I need that day.  Pray that I'm helping others in some way, pray that I can keep patient and kind when it's the hardest.

Also, a lot of times when I pray, I'm always asking for God's will for my life.  But I don't go into specifics, except for watching over friends and family. 

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8

If you really want something, continue to pray for it -- specifically.  It won't guarantee that you'll receive the answer you want, but God does hear it, and he'll move things in your life accordingly.  Sometimes he moves and shakes things away from you because they aren't what His will is for your life.  Don't fret when things you may want start to slip away; chances are you'll work harder to achieve them, or you don't really need it.

If you pray according to God's will, he will grant those things you pray for.  As our Father, he gives us what we need, along with bountiful gifts, more than we can ever imagine.  Yet he does not give us everything we want.  Sometimes, what we want is not what is best for our lives. 

Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. 

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