Wishes and Prayers
One of the struggles I have with prayer is not that I donâ€™t think it is important. I do. I know I need to keep praying, even when I donâ€™t feel like it. I need to talk to God, telling Him my needs and thanking Him for His answers. It is not that I am too busy because I can spend all kinds of time talking to friends on the phone, playing and watching too much TV. I can find all kinds of time to serve God, to help others and to attend bible studies and church services.
Instead, I think it is so hard because I am too results-oriented. I like feedback and the sooner the better. I want God to â€œfixâ€ my situation and to give me instant updates without making me wait! Prayer is supposed to be about an encounter with God Almighty and building a relationship with a loving heavenly Father. I have made it all about rubbing the magic lamp and getting God to answer my wishes. Worse, I have made it all be about myself; when it is convenient for me thus â€œforcingâ€ God to meet with me simply because I have chosen this moment to talk with Him.
So it would seem that I choose not to talk to God with any kind of regularity because I am not â€œhearingâ€ Him (aka He is not doing what I want and when I want it). It is crazy to even write this down! Yet it really is the reason.
So how do I reverse that?
(For starters I can stop praying for things on my wish list and try not to even keep such a list:
ie… I wish I had a job that paid the bills// I wish I could have my career back or at least feel I am participating in Kingdom work by using my gifts and talents//I wish I didnâ€™t have to live so far away from â€œmy world.â€ I have lost my kids because I had to move so far away aka I wish God would let me live where I want//I wish I could travel more.//I wish … Etcâ€¦)
There is such a â€œlongâ€ gap between planting and harvesting. While we are okay with that in the farming world, we do not like it in everyday life. This morning I held a peach seed after slicing my peach on my oven pancake and considered the promise of more within. And how everything takes time. We live in a culture that has made it all about not waiting for, not wanting and not doing without â€“ anything! Not kingdom values at all and yet, How do I even begin to rail against it all? Perhaps just acknowledging the issue is a good starting place!
Being instant has more downsides than we like to admit. It is hard to live in the â€œnow and not yetâ€. Kent Hughes once talked about this time frame. Living in the â€œnot yetâ€ of the kingdom is the period of time before Christâ€™s return and the inauguration of the ultimate Kingdom. The reason this is difficult is because we also live in the â€œnowâ€ of the Kingdom, which creates relentless tension because we are called to live out Kingdom values and ethics while we wait for the King. (Titus 2;11-13)
We are different when we become a Christ follower and we are to Pray without giving upâ€¦.we are to learn toÂ live in the “now”.
The parable Jesus told about the widow and unjust judge comes back into mind whenever I think about this aspect of prayer.Â By contrast we have a loving God who helps us to live in the now as we wait for the not yet!