I just have a question to ask you: what does your prayer life look like?
No, I’m not asking to insult you or shame you because you don’t pray a certain way or if you don’t pray at all. I’m asking because I want you think about it before you read the rest of this devotional.
For many of us, prayer has just become this thing we do to complete our Christian checklist or a spiritual place where we’re just asking God to sign our personal wishlists. Many use prayer as a repeated cycle of requesting, then waiting on God to show up. If he does, we celebrate. If he doesn’t we question if he’s even there or cares. And I have to say this: when you ask questions, it reveals you and where you are in your walk with God.
I believe that is why many Christians just stop praying all together. They come with an agenda of expectations and when they’re not fulfilled, they just lose confidence in God all together. We should be coming to God in prayer to see what he wants for us. I’m not saying that he won’t fulfill our prayers if we ask him for something, but if we’re constantly just giving him a list of things and not giving him our obedience and time, we will miss out on the even better things he has for us than we can ever ask for.
When we just come in with an agenda, that is a casual prayer. When we come without expectation, it can bring us into even deeper intimacy with God. It is important though to know this: casual prayers will get causal results. We should want to come to God to grow, not to just get something from us praying to God. Leave your expectations.
And forget about feeling like you have to have the perfect set up to be able to pray. It’s spending ten minutes while you’re in the shower, your commute home, or even while you’re chasing your children around all day. Just pray intimate prayers to God. Even a short time with him, you can reach deep intimacy with God. And it will be life changing.
I like to start prayer off with this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
you will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”
Matthew 6: 9-13
And asking god, “What is your assignment for me today, Lord?”
When I open prayer like that, it helps me abandon my wants and needs and come in with clear eyes of what God’s wants and needs for me are. I lay down all other glories that may lay claim to my wandering heart. This is how I find the motivation for all that I do and I cry out for his grace.
I pray that this would help you and your prayer life. I pray that this would encourage you to look at your prayer life so that you may observe your heart and where you are at with God. It’s okay If you’ve come to God with an agenda to pray, but I don’t want you to stay that way and neither does God. You will miss out of so much confining your prayer life to just your wants and desires.
Ask yourself this now: Are my prayers shrunk into an agenda or am I praying in genuine pursuit of God?
Read all of Matthew 6: 5-15 for further study and encouragement.
I love this worship song and I feel it really relates with this message. If you can, definitively make the time to listen (it’s not even 7 minutes long) to the whole thing and the short, but impactful message in it, please do.