When we are small children, we learn what I call “kid prayers”. You know the traditional, “As I lay me down to sleep..” “God is good, God is great…” But no one really tells you how to pray. During my youth years, I found myself praying for only the things I needed or wanted. I leaped straight from thanking to asking. I would find myself praying “promise prayers”. “Lord if you will just help me make an A on this paper, I promise I will pray every day!” It wasn’t until I was almost 30 years old, I found myself on my knees – not even knowing what or how to pray. I felt like there was a specific way to pray and I didn’t feel like I had mastered that part of my faith, yet.
Be still and know?
On October 17, 2018, my husband was in a serious accident at work. Most of it is a blur now, but I do remember as I was driving to Raleigh, NC – which was about 2 hours from my home, I kept praying, “God, let him be ok”…. ”Please God, I cannot do this life without him.” I was simply praying what I desired. Never once did I thank Him for anything at that point. I sure didn’t have the time to stop and listen. Are you serious, my husband is laying on an operating table with his chest cut open – I don’t have time to “Be still and know.” Just Lord, hear my prayer! And, hopefully, if I just keep reciting the same prayer, “Lord please let him be ok,” He will eventually grant me the desires of my heart.
God has already worked it out for the good of those who love Him. Romans 8:28
What I didn’t take into consideration was God already was taking care of my husband. When my husband woke that morning, God had already prepared the surgeon that would be performing emergency surgery on him. He had things lined up for me that I couldn’t see at the time. He knew my husband would be involved in an accident that day, and He had a plan. However, I didn’t trust that God had a plan. Please don’t get me wrong, I do not believe God makes bad things happen to people, but He does allow them. This whole time, God had prepared for that day. It was already taken care of, before it happened on earth. But how easy is to forget to trust that God has already worked it out for the good of those who love Him? (Romans 8:28)
No prayer is too big or too small
Recently I learned how to stop-pause-pray. Before, I would pray and be interrupted or fall asleep during my nighttime prayers. Personally, I have a hard time praying on a whim, my OCD kicks in high gear and I get a bit frazzled because I need to prepare and plan exactly what to say… or at least that’s what I thought I had to do. And, how crazy that God hears our every prayer? God knows exactly what you are praying for even when you cannot find the mere words to utter. No prayer is too big or too small. He may not answer right away, but isn’t that the beauty of His unending grace and mercy?
Through this “growth” spurt, I felt God was challenging me to Praise Him rather than Ask Him. I was asking for things that He was already taking care of and handling. He was already protecting those people I prayed for Him to protect. Rather than asking God to continue to be there through my husband’s recovery, I thanked Him for being with him during his recovery. Less asking more praising!
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness”.
I realized God would always provide, I needed to ensure I was praising Him rather than asking. Have your prayers become mechanical? Do you find yourself asking for things that God is already providing? Practice the stop-pause-pray method. Do not stop asking God, but stop and evaluate the things you are asking for – praise Him during the pause-and never cease to pray.
Thanks be to God, Amen.
Read also: What trust can do