Does your prayer life feel like a 2 way conversation? Or maybe it feels more like a one way vent session that never results in the sound advice you're looking for. Have you checked in lately to notice the difference?
Letting go of our expectations is difficult. Yet oftentimes our prayers are rife with our expectations of how we want things to go. Our expectations begin to monopolize the conversation and we aren’t listening for His direction.
After moving halfway around the world, waiting 3 months and counting for all our stuff to get here, and just as long to have both our cars, I can sense my expectations of how life should be, taking over me. I feel the creep of resentment and discontent edging their way in, as starting over is difficult.
Finding new friends and community, getting established with work, and being a full time mom without help is exhausting. I recognize I am not taking rest, but I just keep going. I don’t even think I know how to take rest in the midst of all this change. I am in straight go and do mode.
Then I sit down to write this blog. God is talking directly to me. He is telling me to not worry. He is telling me to pray more. He is telling me He is listening. Now I just need to stop long enough to receive His rest and allow Him to help me through the change.
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
This is what we must fill our time with when the fretting and worry starts to crash in like waves overtaking a ship at sea. We must repeat to ourselves and out-loud petitions and praises of all our concerns. Then we must be still and let God do His work in us.
We are after all human beings, not human doings.
In this way we can stop being preoccupied with getting and respond to God’s giving. (Luke 12:29-32 MSG)
Colossians 4:2 NIV Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
When we devote ourselves to prayer we are able to be more watchful and thankful. This is why we must shape our worries into prayers. Through prayer we are able to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:2)
Jeremiah 29:12 NIV “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.
This is where our faith must hold strong and where our capacity will be grown. We cannot be discouraged in our conversations with God. HE IS LISTENING. Let's say that out-loud 3 times.
HE IS LISTENING. HE IS LISTENING. HE IS LISTENING.
Until we make this our default thought, it will never be our belief and our actions will not be in accordance with this truth.
Prayer is most definitely a 2 way conversation. We simply have to ask ourselves if we trust that He is listening. Likewise, we have to be ready to be still so that we can hear Him. God speaks in a whisper because He has to be close for us to hear Him. This is intentional, so that we set our priorities and devotion to be in communion with Him.
As you move through your day, take account of your worry. Have you paused to turn your worries into petitions and praises to God? He is listening. Find the stillness to hear what He is speaking back to you.