Monday, November 1, 2010

Do the Two-Step

I'm not talking about the dance, although I encourage doing the dance, too.

Psalm 37:4 & 5- Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit yourself to the Lord and trust in him and he will do this...
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him...

I'm talking about prayer.
No, prayer is not a two-step process. Prayer is our direct communication to God, and thank the Lord, literally, for that. The thought that I can voice a prayer and God will actually hear me is enough to calm whatever worry I had, on the spot, before He even has His way with my request.

But what about the bigger requests? Not even the requests; what about the times you are just calling out to him to PLEASE show you what to do because you have NO IDEA. What about the times when all you want is for him to say, "Do this,"? When you are driving down the street and the whole way you are praying for him to please tell you what to do, to please make His will your own and show you what He wants for you, and then you stop at a red light and it's silent and you wait for a few minutes and then you say, "God I can't hear you! Why aren't you answering me? All I want is to do Your will. Please just tell me what that is!" This is when we do the two-step.

So often, as I am guilty, we want to pray and pray and then for God to just divinely send us the answer we are seeking. Seriously, sometimes I hope that a stranger will walk up to me and say, "I know this is weird, but I just felt like I should come and tell you..." Now, that happens, no doubt, but it's like because we prayed a lot, we expect that to happen. What about the bible? What about opening our bible and reading what God has already laid out for us. It seems logical, almost like a "duh" moment to me. 1. Pray 2. Open your bible. Genius.

Prayer is our direct communication with God, and the bible is His direct communication with us. God has written out anything we could need to know, but so often that is the last place we look when seeking the answers we are hoping to hear. Sometimes I'll find myself thinking how I feel so distant from God. I've been praying so much, but I feel so distant from him. Then I'll open my bible and it's like I can feel him speaking to me. Sometimes I forget that prayer is only the beginning of communication with God. The rest of it comes from opening the bible and letting him speak to us. I truly believe that if you are in prayer, if you are taking delight, truly, in the Lord, he will make known to you his plans for your life. We can't expect them to be as obvious as the person in front of us because God is not like that. But, if we are truly seeking him with our whole lives, we can be confident that the decision we make is one he put in place for us. Sometimes it may take a while, but there is a purpose for that, too. Our God is an intentional God. There is a plan and a purpose for everything he allows to happen, and what better way to see that than praying and reading His word?

So don't forget the two-step. And I would suggest learning the dance, too.

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