“I have a friend at church,” I began, “who says he doesn’t pray much because he believes that God is going to do what God is going to do regardless of what he prays.”
“I’ve known and I know a lot of people like that,” Stan replied. “In fact, I can fall into that category if I am not careful to pursue what I think is really the most important part about prayer.”
“What do you think is the most important part?” I asked.
“To find out what is on God’s heart,” Stan responded. “I know for a fact that God knows what is on my heart and mind, so there really is no need for me to tell Him something He already knows.”
“However,” he continued, “I also believe that God wants me to bring my entire being before Him in prayer, to be totally open to all that is on my heart so He can show me what’s on His heart.”
“For example,” Stan added, “say I’m praying for a friend who is not a Christian. I pray for God to draw my friend to Him and to open him to want to know God, as well as to know all that God has for him on both sides of eternity. I pray for my friend’s conversion and transformation.”
“Sounds like a really good thing to pray about,” I responded.
“It is,” Stan replied. “And I have prayed that for a lot of people over the years.”
“And,” he added, “what is interesting about those prayers, at least to me, is that God usually comes back with a question.”
“A question?” I said. “What question?”
“On many occasions,” Stan replied, “I have clearly heard God say, in essence, ‘What are you going to do about that, Stan?’ God wants to know what I am going to do about bringing my friend to conversion and then to help him or her on the road to transformation.”
“How do you respond to that?” I asked.
“With humility and thanksgiving,” Stan said. “With humility that God would want me to be involved with what He is doing; and with thanksgiving for showing me how to be involved in what He is doing.”
“And what about if you don’t know the ‘how’ part of being involved with what God is doing?”
“I ask,” Stan replied. “That is the part about being totally open in telling God I don’t know what to do or how to do it. He shares with me what is on His heart.”
. . . yet not My will, but Thine be done. Luke 22:42.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you allow me to come before you in prayer. Thank you that you want to share with me what is on your heart. I confess that too often I come before you in prayer only to tell you what is on my heart and mind, to only tell you what I want without seeking what you want. Please forgive me. And please lead me to be totally open to all you may say to me in response to my prayers, to hear what you may have me to do in order to be in your will. Please help me in following your lead in being involved with what you are doing to accomplish your will and purposes. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.