What are You Praying For?
I've prayed for a lot of things in my lifetime. I've prayed for the winning lottery numbers - you can see how that turned out; I live in a trailer and drive a fifteen year old car (when I'm not driving my twenty year old truck). I've prayed for patience when I've been at my wits end - and I've been given the opportunity to practice patience.
God answers every prayer.
Sometimes the answer is, "No."
Sometimes the answer is, "Wait."
We don't always get the answer we had in mind when we said our prayer.
There are times when we have to listen very closely for an answer at all.
And then there are the times when our prayers are answered so immediately and so powerfully that there's no mistaking what's going on. There was a time about four years back when we were getting all jammed up, courtesy of a good deed gone horribly wrong. The thing I needed most desperately to save our situation was for someone to be revealed for who and what they truly were. I got on my knees and I prayed. I asked God to please show us what this third party was up to, what they were doing and who they really were.
Less than 24 hours later that prayer was answered in an amazingly powerful way. The third party in question was in jail - for drugs, for giving alcohol to a minor, and we found out something else disturbing about him along that line as well. The evidence that was revealed to us was immediate and undeniable. And the issue that could have torn us apart was settled then and there.
I pray during the day. A lot. I used to pray for patience. And then God gave me opportunities to be patient. I don't pray for patience anymore. But I pray a lot during the day. I'll see someone or speak to someone or even just have a thought of someone I know and I'll say a prayer for them just because I know that everyone in this world is struggling with something. I don't even have to know what they're struggling with - because God already knows. I just pray for them; that they open their hearts to the Lord, that they accept the help or the peace that He's willing to give them. When I pray at night I always start with prayers of gratitude; for making it through another day, for the interactions I had with others, for the blessings I've received. Then I pray for my family, my friends, my community, my church. By the time I've finished praying for others, I generally realize that I really don't need to ask for anything for myself.
I know I talk about God a lot. I know there are people who are just sick to death of hearing me, of seeing yet another post about religion. I don't even know how to adequately explain what God has done for me. I'm starting to realize that words are just not sufficient to convey the changes that have occurred in my life and in my heart that would never have been possible if not for my ever-growing relationship with God. So if I ramble sometimes, it's just because I'm searching for those words and find myself lacking in ability. If I were an artist I'd try to paint a picture on a canvas. If I were a musician I'd compose something. But I can't draw a straight line, or carry a tune.
I guess I'll just include all that in my prayers later...