Monday, April 23, 2012

Me-centered, comfort prayers

I find it so easy to do.

"Lord, I pray that everything would run smoothly"

"God, I ask for an easy transition/quick recovery/prompt response"

I'm not saying I think its wrong to EVER pray things like this. But I can easily get caught in a rut. My heart can at times be praying, "God, let me be comfortable, and please keep everything from disturbing me and my world. Oh. and thanks for Jesus."

I am praying through a book called, "Prayers of an Excellent Wife" right now in praying for my husband. I saw one of my mentors had it and as I first flipped through it, saw that it was saturated in Scripture. I knew I wanted it.

So just now, I read several of the prayers in it...praying Scripture over my husband. As I was adding to it at the end found myself praying, "...and I ask that everything would go smoothly for him at work..."

and the Lord had me take a step back and He shed light on that prayer...and how it kind of contradicted the previous things I'd just been praying. I then changed it, "...no...I ask that when things DON'T run smoothly at work, that you'd give him wisdom and skill to handle the situations in a way that honours and glorifies you..."

It's almost as if at times, I pray things that ignore reality. When do things really EVER go "just" as we planned? Why would we pray for that anyways, if we believe God's ways are infinitely higher than ours? Wouldn't it seem more realistic and sensible to pray, "Father, please help me see with Your eyes and help me trust You when my plans don't happen the way I expect..."

I think of it as, praying towards sanctification and growth.

Instead of ONLY praying for healing {we absolutely should} when a loved one is sick, are we also praying that if it's not the LORD's will to heal today, that He would give sustaining strength, hope, and unwavering trust in the promises of God?

When we pray for our team to win the soccer game, do we also ask for hearts and attitudes that are Kingdom-focused?

When I pray that someone's hair would turn out well...am I seeking to protect my own reputation? Or do I add onto it, "but if it is not your will, please give me wisdom as to how to handle the situation and what to do in a way that will expand Your Kingdom and reflect Your heart."

It certainly takes more concentration for me to think of how to pray God-centered, Gospel-affected prayers instead of me-centered or even need-centered prayers.

One of the prayers today ended with, "Through Your Son and for Your Glory". I thought that would be a good thing for me to contemplate AS I'm praying...am I praying these specific things really through Christ and only for His glory? Or does it sound more like I want everything to revolve around me?

I'd love your thoughts/comments.

2 comments:

Bonnie said...

Wonderful reminder! Thanks, JJ!

Virginia said...

Hi Janelle, I read this on 5/3, the National Day of Prayer...how fitting ;)

First, a thank you to you for being willing to bear your soul and add your witness to God's great love, his wisdom in leading us and how easily we can learn when we listen to His Spirit speaking to our hearts.

So...I took some time to let this soak in and of course I saw myself in this; that I have counseled God and not allowed His wisdom to lead me. In fact, I took it as proof that I was "right" with Him when my prayers were answered in the manner I thought they should be... when God's grace allowed an answered prayer to fulfill my desires I took the credit for being "good enough" to harness God's power....ack! could pride be any uglier?!!

I praise the Lord that he is patient, forgiving and loving; that I have finally come to him with full purpose accepting his sacrifice on the cross and that he remains faithful to me as I learn to follow him.