Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lord, teach me how to pray

I'm just all over the place in my prayer life. I LOVE this study that I'm going through, Living Free, but it's presented a few questions in my heart about how exactly Christ wants me to pray. I know we are supposed to look at the Lord's Prayer for guidance but there are some scriptures that have other details to prayer as well. You know, so much of my prayer life is just a plain ol conversation. Just random thoughts, a lot like this blog! =) But, I guess what I'm struggling with is, how specific my prayers should be. I wrote about this the other day, but I guess God's not done with it yet because it keeps coming up in almost ever conversation I have! I've always been a very specific prayer person. I remember in high school I had a mentor and for the life of me I can't remember her name, isn't that awful??!! I see her face, but I can't think of her name right this second.

But she taught me so much about life and my prayers, she was defiantly a person who was a pray with all your might kinda thing. Well, as silly as this sounds, I was really upset b/c my parents made me drive this AWFUL looser cruiser car! My friends from high school would laugh, b/c they'd know EXACTLY what I was talking about! Well, I know we are not supposed to be "materialistic" but I can remember so clearly telling her about this. And she asked me if I had asked God for a new one? I was like, No, why would God give me a new car when I already have a perfectly fine one, but I just am HUMILIATED to drive it. =) So, we prayed for a new car and guess what???? I got one, my parents for my graduation bought me a brand new Jeep. I don't tell you this story to brag or say look what my parents gave me........I tell you this to ask, was that a lesson that Christ was trying to instill at me at that impressionable age? I believe so, but how far do we take our specific prayers. I don't think I prayed specifically for a Jeep, but the Lord knew that my desire was to have one.

But then I think about our first house.......I prayed specifically for that house. I wanted that house, and that house became an idol before me, something I still regret. I can go back through a journal of mine and see how detailed I got about the type of house I wanted, and that house met EVERY thing on my check list. But here's the bad thing, God took that house away. Why? I don't know if I will ever know for sure, I have my guesses, but I don't know exactly why. We were faithful in that house, we tithed, we gave, we worshiped, we served, we did all the "right" things. So, I have two big situations in my life where I prayed for something, God gave and God took away. What was the difference? I think I got my answer this morning in this verse:

Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

I see through that verse that we are to be specific with our prayers. But here's where I catch myself before I fall again! If I begin to "think" that I have found the perfect house for us, I shouldn't pray specifically for THAT house. Because I believe that God may say, "here you go", and it turn into a nightmare. Plus, I would be very anxious awaiting answers and it probably would flood my mind, not something Christ wants. Here's what I believe is supposed to happen. I have a request, I give it to God, I thank Him for already answering it, I continually pray and ask for guidance, I seek and I pray some more, THEN when Christ shows me the answer, My heart will be guarded b/c I have really set my mind on "Him". I won't get confused with the messages the "world" sends me, I will be in the situation that God has set before me.

I think about how that verse applies to every situation I am facing right now. I just love the end of that verse where it says, "the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds...." that's exactly what I need in every thing I pray for, just plain peace. Through peace, things are calm, they make sense and they draw me closer to Him. You know, this "situation B" has been a huge struggle to find peace in, but right now as I write those words, peace just overwhelms me. I cannot worry that my "specific" prayers are going to save this person...........I have to be obedient to God's word and walk in the light through this darkness. It's not easy and it's a whole lot easier to write that, then it is to actually do that!

Bottom line, I do think our prayers should be somewhat specific but they have to align with God's words. And I do think that we should pray like He's already answering and already blessing because He is! Well, I didn't get much done yesterday so I'd better get to it! Have a blessed day!!!

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