Give me this, I want that, bless me Lord I pray.
Grant me what i think I need to make it through the day.
Make me healthy, keep me wealthy, fill in what I miss
On my never-ending shopping list.
I will forever remember this song, I don’t know who wrote or even sang it first. I remember a good friend of the family singing this song somewhere along the way at a church sometime. This what prayer can feel like sometimes, right?
A never-ending shopping list of things we want, things we feel we are owed or at the very least deserve. Jesus is not Santa Claus. Never has been, and I suspect he never will be. A few years ago, my boys made Christmas humorous for us as a family when they confessed they had prayed to Jesus to work with Santa to bring us a white Christmas. Coincidently, if we were to ever have a white Christmas at our house it would take a monumental miracle that could only come about if Jesus and Santa collaborated. I told them, living in Florida, a white Christmas is likely something we will never see.
I suppose it is possible your prayer time and prayer requests are holier than mine. Could be. But I bet even at times you miss the point of prayer too. We all do. Three reasons: we are human which leads to reason two, we are selfish which is caused by reason three, we are sinners. And we mess everything up… when left to ourselves. It’s kinda what we as humans do.
I’m not setting out here to give you a dissertation on prayer or specifically recite the various appropriate ways Scripture guides us to pray, for what and when and how and why. I simply want to confess to you, I suppose more than anything, I often don’t take full advantage of prayer in a way I should.
I have come to realize I pray way too small.
I pray in such a way that doesn’t show I trust in a God much bigger than myself. I pray in such a way that doesn’t illustrate I believe God when he tells me to ask and I will receive.
I don’t know this is terribly a big deal. I mean I have faith in God and trust him in and with my life. I live each day in service to him… so even if I don’t pray the biggest, most bold prayers I still am a follower of his. But it is a big deal because I have three young men God has entrusted to me to teach about him and to teach them how to trust him, to teach them how to be men after his heart. I owe it to them to pray bigger and to pray in a way that demonstrates I believe the almighty creator of the universe is listening to my prayers. Because he is!
Maybe the beginning is to spend more time in prayer myself. To spend more time getting to know my God. Maybe the first steps are to not treat prayer like a shopping list, but instead a relationship built on trust and love. I never want to hear Jesus say to me what he said to the church in Ephesus: ‘you have lost your first love.’ How heartbreaking it would be to hear Jesus say such a thing to you? I can’t imagine the ache inside my heart.
I never want to lose sight of my savior.
I never want to lose my first love.