When I was a child I enjoyed watching Disney movies. One of my favorites was “Aladdin.” I loved the idea of having 3 wishes. I would dream about what those wishes would be. Of course, I often toyed with the taboo wish…Wish number 3: Give me a hundred more wishes.
As I began to pray about this month’s blog theme, “Prayer,” I began to feel deeply convicted. I felt God was revealing to me that I often pray in a “genie in a bottle” kind of way…
Dear Jesus, help me score the winning goal in this soccer game. (I am very competitive-to a fault)
Dear Jesus, help our bank account to have the needed funds this month.
Dear Jesus, help my day to be great.
I became aware of how this type of prayer was quite contrary to what God had intended prayer to be. I don’t think that any of the prayers I mentioned above are bad, but I do think they are not presented in the fashion God would prefer or would be the most beneficial to me.
Prayer is developing an ongoing relationship with our Heavenly Father. Putting Him above all else. Wait! If you are like me, you read that last line quickly and did not realize the full impact of its power and truth. Let’s read that again…
Prayer is developing an ongoing relationship with our Heavenly Father. Putting Him above all else.
That was a really easy line to write, but the meaning behind it is something much deeper and so much more than mumbling a sentence or two.
I believe that God cares about every single detail of our lives. EVERY SINGLE DETAIL!
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:7 (NIV)
Seriously, we are praying to a God that knows the number of hairs on our head. That’s amazing! Kind of makes me want to pull one out because I know He will do a recount.
If we believe this to be true, we need to be in a deep, close relationship with Him. This means we need to have a lifestyle of prayer and talk to Him about all aspects of our lives. Let’s take finances, for example. Who has not prayed about that topic? I know I have. The Bayer family isn’t rolling in money over here.
So often, I would ask God to meet the financial needs of our family. There were definitely times in our lives when God miraculously met a financial need our family had (but I will save those stories for another day). Today though, I feel compelled to share that sometimes God speaks to us about life choices and we need to follow His plan for our lives to be blessed. To get this plan, we need to spend time in prayer. Seeking His face. Prayer can look like a lot of things:
1. Communion with God through conversation
2. Listening to worship music
3. Reading the word
4. Living out the word
I’m sure I am missing some…but you get the idea. Prayer should not end. It should be ongoing.
Back to my finances example. If I am praying throughout the day about every decision I make and every action I take, God is going to be my leader and guide. He cannot lead me astray. What if there is some self reflection I need to do in regard to my finances? What if my family eats out more than our income really allows? Through prayer, God can help me see these weaknesses and pull back in this area of my life that needs more discipline. The really cool thing about giving all areas of our lives to God is that you can live in complete confidence of what God has for you. This brings to mind my favorite verse in all of the Bible.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)
I know I keep asking you to stop and re-read what I just wrote but really…go back and read that verse again and take a moment to think about what that could look like in your life. The words I just love are EXCEEDINGLY, ABUNDANTLY ABOVE all I could think or ask. Seriously, can you even imagine a life that exceeds your expectation in everything? A life that gives you more than you could even imagine you could have? Wow! But here is the key to the verse and without it, you won’t be living that life…. Here it is… are you ready? The key is the last part of that verse… “according to the power that works in us.” The way to have His power switch turned on in us is to pray, pray, and then pray some more. It needs to become a way of life. Not something we turn on and off. Something that happens as a reflex, not a forced response. Just ask God right now to help you flip that switch and live with His power cord plugged in at all times. And guess what? He will do exceedingly, abundantly above all you could think or ask. Who needs 3 wishes when we have the life-giving power of our Heavenly Father?