Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Prayer God Wants to Answer

James 1: 5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

Been reading in James for a Bible study I'm in, and at the same time time we're covering the topic of prayer in our teen small group right now. As I've been preparing to discuss prayer with the girls, my heart's desire is that they understand prayer to be more than merely asking God for things.

I think what God really wants is for our hearts to be constantly communing with Him. One thing I've noticed myself doing lately is asking God for wisdom. I don't mean at a set time, as something I check off a list. It's something I can do any time and any place.

Sometimes it's just a simple, "God, what can I make for dinner tonight?"
"What would be the best gift for this person?"
"How can I help this person?"
"How can I best spend my time today - help me to know what my priorities should be."

I can ask God for a bigger house or the resources to quit work. I can pray for my husband to grow spiritually. I can pray for the salvation of family members. God may or may not answer those when and how I would like them to be answered. I'm finding better prayers to be, "Lord, help me manage my spending more wisely. "Give me wisdom to know what my husband needs from me." "Lord, show me how I can reach out to this family member who needs you."

Amazingly enough, God seems to answer those prayers immediately. Not in a big Damascus road kind of way. Instead He provides just enough light to see the next step. To make a wise purchase. To seize an opportunity to listen to my husband. To not be selfish with my days off but give of my time to my family.

The best thing about prayer is knowing my heavenly Father longs for me to commune with Him. And like the verse says, He doesn't find fault with my request. He doesn't chide me or scold me or say I should have known that. He's all ears, so to speak.

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