Prayer

A Simple Prayer

blog_snowywoods“Live simply, love generously, serve faithfully, speak truthfully, pray daily. Leave everything else to God.” I saw this quote while sitting in a café the other day. As I consider the direction of my life, these words speak to me about a simple yet profound calling. So often, we’re looking for the big, the extravagant, the noticeably noble. We want to be significant, and we perceive significance as something evident to the masses.

Yet what if greatness has a humbler definition?

And that’s why this has become my prayer, and my desired life-theme. To truly live simply—not bogged down by temporary things, unnecessary work, trivial concerns, or excessive material endeavors. To love generously: that my love for all would be abundant, honest, and overflowing…not in word alone, but in action and in truth.

Father God, remove every ounce of selfishness from within me: my self-centeredness, self-preservation, self-exaltation. Move in my heart to make me someone who thinks of others more than I think of myself.

Let my service be for the motive of honoring you by helping others. Let it be pure and untiring, all-encompassing—infiltrating all I do and done with all my heart, soul and strength. I confess I’ve grown weary in well-doing. Please renew my strength.

Tame my tongue to be still when I need to be silent and to speak truth boldly and always with love. Strip me of the veil of the fear of man.

I’ve been prayerless, so move me to pray. Prayerlessness is the root of all my trials, or my misunderstanding of your purpose in the midst of trials. Release me from bondage to laziness and unbelief, that my prayers may flow unwavering, unhindered, and unceasingly to you.

Build up my faith to know with confidence that when I’ve done all you ask of me, I can be at peace and leave all else to you. I want to live at ease with you, knowing you alone hold my life and I will stand before you alone at the end to give account for my thoughts, words, and actions.

This is my simple prayer.

 

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Not a Tear

Not a tear goes uncollected, not a prayer goes unheard, no matter how long I wait in the in-between, or no matter that the answer may be no or not now. My Father always hears and ever answers, even when it’s not the answer I desire or expect, I know I’m not forgotten.

 

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Genuine Faith

Genuine faith says, “Not my will, but yours be done.”

 

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Aligned

Prayer is a time to align our lives with God’s desires, not to demand our way.

 

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The Most Difficult Prayer

Blog_PrayerThe other day, my irresistibly charming son started showering me with hugs and kisses while I was in the midst of folding laundry. “You’re my best mommy ever,” he smiled, looking into my eyes while working his awe-inspiring dimples to the max. My heart was melting after a few minutes of his seemingly innocent compliments. That’s when he popped the question. “Will you let me drive the car?”

I’m not sure he understood when I told him he has more than ten years before he’s old enough to get a drivers’ permit. As he walked away, looking dejected, I wondered what his little mind had envisioned when he asked me to let him behind the wheel. And I wondered whether his initial compliments were part of his childlike ploy to get what he really wanted.

How often do we come to God with ulterior motives? We claim our hearts are filled with love and adoration, when really we just want something from him. Our prayers become tools of manipulation, as if we could strong-arm God into doing our will.

There was a time when I desired to have a little house, just big enough for my family and some guests. In the midst of praying for our needs to be met, I learned that a genuine prayer of faith includes the more difficult phrase, “yet not my will, but yours be done.” Modern faith movements would tell us to demand what we want, but true faith believes God has our best interests in mind, whether or not his answers align with our desires.

As for me, I’m glad I prayed that prayer. Not having the burden of a house has enabled us to give more to those who truly need it. When it came time to adopt our son, we didn’t have debt holding us back. My husband was able to go back to school to nurture his artistic gift, and I was able to get my teaching certificate. We’ve both been able to work at a non-profit school, doing what we love at a lower-than-average salary. And we’ve had time to invest in our kids during their most sensitive years. None of this would have been possible if I had demanded something of God we didn’t really need.

When I think of my son’s request, I laugh because I love him and I know he loves me. He’ll grow and he’ll learn. But for those of us who’ve been walking with God for years, it’s time we learn to let go of what we think we need. It’s time to mature in faith. Prayer is a time to align our lives with his desires, not to demand our way. It’s when we say with genuine faith, “not my will, but yours be done.”

 

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My Prayer

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My prayer is that I’ll live a life of gratitude, for the big things and the little things. For the annoying things. And even for the painful ones.

 

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A Prayer for The Short Time we Have

Father, as you have promised…use all that is intended for evil and bring forth good. If anything, use the horrific events of our day to awaken within us an awareness of the brevity of life. Turn our attention to things of eternal consequence. I pray we’d no longer expend our existence on what will waste away. Instead, let us use the short time we have here on this earth to invest in things which will last forever.

 

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