There are some things that, growing up attending church, you would think I would just know.
And there are things I have been taught, over and over in my lifetime.
I have had things explained (as all good church kids have) on flannel story boards with little Felt Jesus walking on felt-dirt roads, or through puppet shows with puppet apostles, or worship songs with choreographed dance moves.
You name a bible story or a Christian concept and I guarantee I can sing a kids song created to reinforce it.
Yet, amazingly, I still forget and can get so far away from what I know, from what I’ve been taught.
Tonight I asked my husband to take our boys out for a bit. I love being a mom, but sometimes the lack of quiet can get to me. The inability to string three quiet minutes together over the course of a day can put my brain into overload. And my thinking was “I need time to pray, to write! I need to hear from God. I have so many questions, and so few answers!”
When the house was quiet (hallelujah!) I decided to read through some of my previous blog posts.
And that’s when I noticed it – the fact that I was getting something very wrong.
Here are a few phrases I plucked out from those previous entries:
“And still – no answer from God.”
“And the only answer is the echo of our own screams.”
“So how..where..what next? What can I DO, God?”
“I just wish He would let me know some of His plans in advance”
And it hit me in the face like flying brick-
I was praying wrong.
I have been acting like God is some kind of crystal ball.
Suddenly it dawned on me that prayer is not supposed to be a way to “get” answers out of God.
Sure, I should seek His will, ask that He be sovereign over my steps and plans, ask for His help and direction for the journey – but its as if I am doing all that and then sitting back, arms folded and saying “Annnnd, you’re up, God! Go ahead! Lay it on me! Lemme know how all those things will look. I’ll just sit here and wait for those answers to roll in. Just start talkin’..anytime you’re ready..annnnytime..”
Prayer isn’t about demanding answers. Prayer is about knowing God.
Prayer doesn’t always bring us to knowing answers to our questions, but genuine prayer always brings us to knowing God more.
When we pray for the purpose of knowing God better each day, we won’t need to ask
“am I loved?”
“am I worthy?”
“Is there a plan? A purpose for my life?”
“Are you there?”
“Is there peace for my heart?”
“Can I find rest?”
We won’t have to ask because when we spend time getting to know the heart of our God we ingrain the truth of Him into our souls..
- He is love
- He determines our worth (invaluable! priceless! loved beyond measure!)
- He has a plan
- He is always as close as a whisper
- He is our peace and our safety
- He is rest for our overwhelmed souls
Don’t pray to know all the answers – pray to know the heart of God.
I think I understand now.
I may forget again though.
So if someone could create a puppet-show lesson called “praying to know God and not praying to ask a million questions” that’d be great.
If it could have a fun song with hand motions, that would be even better.
Still learning and Authentically Yours,
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent ~John 17:3