What Are You Waiting For?

Two posts ago, I shared a prayer exercise. Here are a couple of stories from my exercise.

One of my five desires that I listed in my journal was “detection of God’s movement.” Since yesterday, my desire has been granted twice.

  1. Monday morning I woke up and sent this message to a friend: “Not sure why, but you dominated my dreams this morning. I spent much time in prayer for you. God loves you.” Last night they responded, “Thanks, friend!!! Means so much and I was up at 4:30am also after bad dreams. Thank you.”
  2. After my race Monday in WV, I drove to PA to run a race Wednesday morning. On my drive, I decided to search for a massage therapist in hopes to schedule an appointment Tuesday. Just so happens, a chiropractor office was across the street from my hotel. I walked over, and they gave me a referral to a local therapist. Long story short, she only had one hour available today. Not only did she give my muscles what they needed, we also talked the entire hour about church, prayer, God, coaching, and life direction. We both agreed…that hour was an answer to our prayers.

If you haven’t tried the exercise yet, what are you waiting for?

Praying Your Desires

James points out a couple of issues in prayer in chapter four.

You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. (James 4:2, CSB)

Issues: Lack of right motive and lack of asking

What if we addressed both issues simultaneously? Here’s a suggestion how:

  1. Write down your top five desires
  2. Ask God to check your motives behind each desire
  3. Edit the list as needed
  4. Then pray over the list

I did this exercise today. Here’s what I realized:

  • What I listed as my desires were not things I have regularly been praying for
  • The act of writing down my desires while asking the Holy Spirit what he thought about them made checking my motives easier and, as a result of having already invited him into the exercise, made prayer a normal, flowing, and immediate outcome

Give yourself fifteen minutes to try this exercise this weekend and see how yours goes. Let’s go after praying our desires.

Submissive Praying

(Day 16 in a 28-day series from First Bradenton)

“Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

For just a moment, put yourself in Jesus’ shoes. Imagine the Son of God seated on His throne in heaven right next to His Father. The crystal sea, the golden pavement, the perfect peace, the angel voices… It is incredible, beyond our imagination. Jesus is God. He is one with the Father. Yet, when God asked, Jesus laid aside His authority, His divinity, His rightful place, His glory and His immortality. He willingly submitted to His Father and became a helpless human infant. He grew up and experienced life just as we do, and He willingly laid down his life as a sacrifice. He died a brutal and humiliating death because He was fully surrendered to the will of God.

Jesus is our example. We are told to:

“have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing**by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)

Most of us will never be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice. Rather we are called to daily surrender our lives in service of each other. It’s easy to be nice to a cashier or hold the door open for an older person. But do we follow Jesus’ example and surrender our own will when our spouse is doing that annoying thing again? Do we lay aside our desires when a child needs some one-on-one? Do we help with dishes even when it’s been a very long day? Do we maintain our composure when an unsaved coworker gets under our skin?

Jesus prayed, “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Can we do the same? The submissive prayer puts our hearts and minds in the proper position before God so that we follow His directive, even when we don’t understand why. If Jesus being God would submit to the Father’s will, and He is our example, then we should do no less.

Hanging on the cross at the very end, Jesus said, “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46) That should be our own battle cry every morning.

“Father, I lay down my life today. I choose to surrender my will to your own. I choose to serve the people you have put into my life. Into Your hands I commit my spirit, my heart and my life.”

By Lisa Fulghum