My 86 year old grandmother received a phone call from her doctor. Not the nurse or an assistant. The good doctor called directly. He told her that she needed to go to the hospital because of the results of her bloodwork. She responded (graciously, I’m sure), “I can’t. I’m doing my laundry today.” I can only imagine the many thoughts that must have gone through his head. And while I’m concerned for my grandmother’s health, I couldn’t help but chuckle at her response.
Before we’re quick to judge, I wonder how often we do the same thing to God. We have our daily plans and agendas all figured out and often with not a minute left to spare. So what happens when we encounter an “interruption” to our plans? Do we get annoyed? Do we say, “Sorry, I’m too busy to help.” Or, do we welcome the change in plans and possibly acknowledge that God may have other ideas for our day? Let’s be careful not to become so busy with our days that we aren’t able to make room for God. We might just be missing the adventure (and blessing) of a lifetime.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. Matthew 6:33
Our prayers aren’t magical and there isn’t a formula to make sure that God answers the way we want.
Then why do we pray and what purpose does it serve?
I’m so glad you asked! You see, there have been times in my life when I wondered, “What’s the point?” Doesn’t God already know what’s going to happen anyway? Does it really matter if I pray or if I don’t? And, even though, I still wrestle with those questions at times, I’ve learned a lot through my prayer life. I’ve learned that God wants my prayers. He wants to hear my heart. And, He can use my prayers to reveal Himself to me. But there’s more…
Jesus demonstrated the importance of prayer during His earthly ministry. Even though He was fully God and fully man, He sought His Father’s will – through prayer. It’s how He communicated with God. And, we learn from Jesus that it wasn’t about Him, it was always about the Father.
What about our prayers? Do we make it about God or about us? Do we seek Him and His ways or are we seeking favors? How often do our prayers consist of bless me, heal her, and bless me some more? I’m not suggesting that these are bad things to pray – God wants to hear our heart. But, hopefully our prayer life is bigger than that. Hopefully, we spend time seeking Him and really listening for God’s direction.
I’ll close with a challenge: Watch the attached link and consider ways that you might invite God to be a bigger part of your prayer life.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35
Coffee with Jesus Video
Our meeting was seemingly random. She’d somehow heard about my new book and contacted me to share that her preschool daughter was terminally ill. She was looking for hope and comfort and was seeking our God Almighty for strength. She requested a copy of the book and I began to pray for her and her daughter.
A month later, I had pressing thoughts of her. She kept coming to mind throughout the day. On the way to Target, I thought of her and prayed. On the way to Home Depot, I thought of her and prayed. As I was cleaning up from dinner, again I thought of her and prayed. I woke up the next morning and my thoughts continued to wander back to her… and I prayed some more.
I decided to send her a message to let her know that I was praying for her and her precious daughter. Her reply indicated that her daughter was admitted to the hospital the day before and that the doctors continued to wrestle with finding the right balance of medications. I had been praying for her daughter throughout the entire hospital admission without ever knowing what was going on. Once again, I’m awestruck.
God prompted me to pray for that little girl in her time of need even though I was unaware of her struggles. He had it all under control. He didn’t need my prayers, yet He invited me to join His work. He wanted my prayers. And what an amazing reminder of the importance of prayer.
Never underestimate the power of prayer. We need to pray for our family, our friends, our church, our community, our nation. Let’s be united in prayer! God invites us to join His work and it begins with prayer. Join me as I pray:
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are an amazing and wonderful God. Thank you for loving us. I pray that you will give us ears to hear and eyes to see where You are at work around us. Thank you for inviting us to join You as You accomplish Your good plans. May we seek You through prayer in all things and be united together in Your love. Use us to do amazing things for Your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.