Probably one of my most favorite things to do, especially in the morning, is to brew a small cup of coffee, sit down with my Bible, and read and enjoy God’s word. I can’t think of a better way to start the day really. A healthy dose of Truth and something yummy to sip on. Can’t go wrong.
This morning I read and prayed through Psalm 5. Lately I’ve been reading and praying through the Psalms. It’s been a great way to point my prayers. Oftentimes I sit down to pray and just kind of draw a blank. Or more often too, I sit down to pray but my prayers are very self-focused, like ‘Lord, please DO this or MAKE this happen’ which really is all about me and has little to do with God. But reading the Psalms and praying through them is a great reminder that I need to have the right perspective of who God is before I start praying. It’s like sending a letter to someone you don’t know. What do you tell someone who you don’t know? All very general stuff I’m sure. But once you KNOW the person who you’re sending the letter to you can communicate more thoughtfully and meaningfully. I think that’s how it is with prayer. Once I have an accurate picture (or reminder) of who God is I pray with so much more intensity. It feels like my prayers have more ‘bite’ to them, if you know what I mean. You can’t ever go wrong with praying God’s word back to him. After all, He said it first, I’m just repeating it back to Him. That’s the only time I can be sure what I say is true, when God says it first.
The part I really liked from Psalms 5 this morning was verse 3:
In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.
I was convicted a bit that that although I pray a lot, how often do I eagerly watch for His answer? More often than not I forget what I pray for as little as five minutes after I pray it. I simply forget to watch for God to provide the answer. God isn’t a genie that I can throw requests at and He’ll just do cause I say so. No. I think God wants to show us stuff when we pray. He wants to show us how faithful to us He really is. But how can He show me this if I forget what I even asked Him for? I miss out of an opportunity to see God work.
I want to eagerly watch for His answer. When I do this it changes the way I pray. If I have to wait for God to answer and watch until He does, that just might change the way I pray. It’ll make me pray for things much closer to me, for the people and situations around me. If I’m to SEE his response I have to be in a position to see. I don’t want to be too dogmatic about this, but it’s definitely something to think about. Does it mean I don’t pray for people far away from me? No, I don’t think that’s the right answer either. But I really think that my prayer life and therefore my spiritual life would be much healthier if I really focus and wait for God to answer- and keep praying until He does. Hold Him to it. That would change the way I pray. Instead of throwing coins at the slot machine not knowing what will come out I want to write a letter to God with intentionality, KNOWING who it is I’m talking to, expecting Him to answer according to His character. Intentional prayer. Expectant prayer. I’m reminded of the story of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8. She kept coming back to the judge again and again with her request until finally he relented. Jesus teaches us through that story to ‘pray consistently and never quit’. Oh how my prayer life would be changed if I prayed like this.
“Lord, please help me to be more effective in my prayers. Lord teach me to pray like the persistent widow, who never gave up no matter what. Lord, help me to SEE your hand move in response to the things I pray. God, be glorified in my prayers. I trust you Lord. Thank you for helping me to pray expectantly. Amen!”