Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Have You Prayed About It?


Around Christmas time, I was reading a book where the main character’s best friend kept encouraging her to go to Texas to take care of some conflict in the main character’s past.  The main character adamantly refused to go.  Being a good friend, her best friend asked her if she had prayed about it.  The main character refused to pray about it.  She was mad at God and didn’t really want his opinion on the matter.  As the reader, I wanted her to prayer and hear God’s voice.  I wanted her to reconnect with God.  From the outside looking in, I could see she needed to pray about it.  

That night as I tried to fall asleep, my mind wouldn’t stop.  It was like I wanted to solve all my problems and questions before going to sleep.  Where should we go for spring break with Big D? How can I do a better job of listening?  On top of these questions, others thoughts and worries piled up on top of each other.  The words from my book came back to me.  “Have you prayed about it?”   The answer, of course, was "No!" Otherwise why would I be filled with anxiety.  I could see clearly that my book character needed to pray but was obvious to my own need. 

Why don't we pray about things more?  Like the main character in my book, we may be mad at God or don't want to have his opinion.  Or maybe we think we can handle this one on our own.  Most of the time, I just don't think about it.  As a follower of Christ, I hate saying that.  I want my go to response to be prayer, but I am not there.  

James tell us in chapter one that if we need wisdom, all we need to do is ask God for it.  He loves to give us His wisdom.  That night I prayed for wisdom, and in the days that followed I continued to pray for wisdom.  Taking the time to pray about something goes against our nature.  We are often struggling to slow down and rushing from one thing to the next.  Personally, I become too easily distracted from the one thing (prayer) that can truly make a difference.  

Have you ever had a situation where you thought that you could handle the decision on your own?  Why pray about it?  The answer is obvious.  At least the answer was obvious until you looked back and saw maybe you should have asked God for guidance.  This happened to Joshua and the Israelites.  In Joshua 9, some men came to the Israelites wearing old garments and patchy sandals.  Their bags contained moldy bread and old wineskins that had been repaired.  They claimed that they were from a far off country and wanted to make a covenant with them.  After further questioning, the Israelites made a covenant with the Gibeonites to only find out three days later that they were neighbors with the Gibeonites.  Verse 14b says, “but they did not ask counsel of the Lord.”  They had disobeyed God’s command of making a covenant with the people in the land.  How much better our decisions would be if we brought them before the Lord first!

What would happen if God’s people prayed more? What if when ...

We don’t know what our next steps will be….. As James advises, we ask God for wisdom. (James 1:5,6)

Our worries are suffocating us… We follow Paul's urging to not be anxious but instead to pray. (Phil 4:6)

We read the headlines and our heart is broken over those hurting due to war, racial tensions, and bad governments….  We remember that Jesus calls us to pray at all times and not to lose heart.  In the parable of a widow who begs for justice from an unrighteous judge, Jesus tells us that persistence is important.  The judge grants the widow justice because of her persistence.    Jesus then says, “ Shall not God bring about justice for His elect who cry out to him day and night?”


"Have you prayed about it?" can sound like a cliche.  Even so, it is one I need to hear.  I need to be reminded to pray for wisdom, to give my worries to God, and to cry out for justice for those who are oppressed.  Can we as followers of Christ not just remind each other to pray about it but to go a step further and pray together about the need or decision?  What is it that you need to pray for or already praying fervently for?  Can I pray with you?  

2 comments:

anna j said...

I would covet prayers as we think about the passage of time and how long we should live this overseas life. Thank you for the blog list you share ...I was just moved to tears while reading "across cultures "

TJ said...

Praying for you dear friend. "Across cultures" has challenged me but it blesses me that she and others are loving on the people we came to love in Central Asia.