Praying Through Gritted Teeth

One of the things that I notice in scripture, especially in the New Testament are the phrases “My prayer for you…” or “I will pray for you…” These words are spoken by Jesus himself or one of the apostles. In reading about prayer and trying to be more aware of my own prayer life I have realized that by saying “God, your will be done” is not the same thing as actually letting His will be done. Saying it through gritted teeth and secretly hoping that whatever His will is will not hurt too much is not truly asking for God’s will to be done in my life. In the book “Quiet talks on Prayer” by S.D. Gordon he says this about praying to God; “He comes down to the highest level we will come up to and works with us there.” Wow! So, I guess the real question is: How high am I willing to go in order to meet God and His will? Prayer is the connection between us and God. Jesus made that possible. Before Jesus died on the cross God seemed further away from the world. But when He chose to sacrifice His one and only son, it almost made him humanlike, so that the world could see how much He truly loves and cares for us. Not only did this sacrifice show the great love our Father has for us but also what a great love Jesus has for us. “The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends.” John 15:13(NCV) So, praying that God’s will be done in any aspect of our lives is not an easy task. We are a self-sufficient people and we have been programmed to be that way. Sometimes though I think about when I was little, really little, even before any actual memories comes to my mind and I ask myself, “How did I survive?” The answer is that I was totally dependent on my mom, my dad and other adults around me to make sure that I had my basic needs met and that I was given love and affection. I want to pray and live with that same abandon-no real responsibilities, no worries of when things will get done, no stress about work, no decision making when it comes to family or finances-just pure and utter reliance on someone else to make sure it all gets done. Now, obviously I am an adult and I do have responsibilities, stress and tough decision making that I have to do. But, the good news is that I can give my adult life and worries over to God have that same abandon and rely His guidance through my prayer life. I need to relinquish the control that I THINK I have over my life and the lives of my family and submit it all to God. Because whether I want to admit it or not I am not in control of my life. It sounds easy, right? It looks good on paper, right? It isn’t as easy as it sounds or looks. The mindset has to change as well as the way in which we pray. In my mind I think of all the things I do and I am the one directing how and when they will be completed. In my prayers I thank God for all my blessings, I pray for the sick, the hurting, the lonely, etc… But do I abandon all of my control over my life to Him? I am ashamed to say, not always. I figure if something goes wrong than at least I only have myself to blame. Ah, if only my heart could lead my mind in the right direction sometimes! I am learning to simplify my prayers. I sometimes will pray, “God, whatever your plan is in this I will try to just let it be, help me to let go of wanting to control something that you are already in charge of.” Now, I still pray specific prayers for friends, family, those who are ill, my children, etc.. Those things are to be named so that God know that we are seeking His will in those situations too. So, without gritted teeth and an open mind I encourage all of you to seek God’s will. Do not seek the God’s will that fits into your box of how YOU think your life should turn out. Do not seek the God’s will that is acceptable to you when things are going well, but unacceptable to you when things don’t go the way you had hoped. Do seek the God’s will that is there but not necessarily revealed to you yet, the will that you have to have faith in order to continue your journey toward, the will that will bring you moments of peace, love, joy and even sorrow. This is the God’s will that is sought after when we realize that God is in control and that no matter how hard we try to micro-manage everything He is still the One who is leading this orchestra of life and we are all just players in His band. “This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; that you will see the difference between good and bad and will choose the good; that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ; that you will do many good things with the help of Christ to bring glory and praise to God.” Philippians1:9-11 Blessings-Nicole

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