God Above and Below
My friends mom is notorious for inappropriately long prayers. And by inappropriate I mean timing wise. She is known to go off into long prayer tangents when all we wanted was a prayer of blessing over the food. One year during thanksgiving the food was fully laid out, ready for serving, and someone made the mistake of asking her to pray for the meal, and she prayed (no exaggeration here) for 30 whole minutes, and made everyone go around to share what they were thankful for during her actual prayer. I went from standing to kneeling, to laying down at one point. Thank Thanksgiving I was thankful for microwaves and the ability to warm food back up. Another friend of mine likes to bug his mom when she asks him to pray for the food by thanking Zeus for the meal he provided. He always gets a hilarious reaction from her even though she knows he's made the same joke every weekend. Prayer is such an important part of our relationship with God but for the longest time I used to struggle with the idea of prayer.
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
15 And if we know that he hears us
—whatever we ask—
we know that we have what we asked of him.
1 John 5:14-15 (NIV)
I wondered if prayer was even worth the effort. Did it work? Was it the key to moving God into action? Wouldn't He move for His people if I prayed or not? Sometimes those are the questions we ask when we view prayer as wish fulfillment instead of open dialogue with God. What I've had to try to unlearn is the subconscious idea that prayer is just about asking God to do things for you. Prayer is a communication with our Heavenly parent. We confess our downfalls, confide in God our problems, and ask the almighty for help, not always in ways that we should expect God's intervention exactly as we expect it, but rather as a means of releasing the burden of our problems and worries into the hands of our loving God. I believe in the power of prayer, and the power of God to perform miracles, but I don't always go into prayer with the demand that God answer me exactly as I think He should. Rather I go into prayer with the hope that God will express His love and care in whatever way is best, regardless of my personal sentiments or feelings. I still prayer for miracles, for healing, for goals and "things" but I pray for them trusting that God will only give me what is best for me when it's best for me even if I doesn't always make sense to me right away. God is sovereign over all the universe, and He understands things far better than I ever could. He is the God of Heaven and Earth and so my trust is that God will always express His love in one way or another.
11 the Lord your God
is God in heaven above
and on the earth below.
Joshua 2:11 (NIV)
Lord I put my trust in you. I trust that you are working all things for good either for this life or the next life. Help me to treat you more like a friend and parent, a God who I can give all my problems to. I confess you are God above and below and I pray that your will be done in my life as it is in Heaven. AMEN