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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What Do You Pray For?

"Praying Hands" (study for an Apostl...Prayer is the Christian's most lethal weapon, I'm sure all Christians will agree, but when you get down on your knees or lie between the covers what do you ask God for? Do you ask Him to help you find a better job, heal your sick grandmother, help you buy a house, car, pay your bills? God is our provider, isn't He? And He does care about our basic needs, so praying for all these things is all well and good.

However, as I lay in bed meditating on God and prayer, the Holy Spirit gave me a brand new revelation. He said that all my prayer should be encapsulated in one word: contentment. Then He reminded me of this scripture by the apostle Paul, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound : every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry , both to abound and to suffer need" (Philippians 4: 11-12) .

In this passage, Paul commended the church at Phillipi that they were once more able to continue caring for his needs, which they had ceased to do because they lacked opportunity. He was saying to them that he had learned to be content whether he was full or whether he was hungry. This was exactly what I needed, for lately I've been giving in to bouts of anxiety. When will I be able to retire? How long can I continue working the way I do? Will I ever fulfill my dream of being able to retire from my job and work from home? These thoughts and others like them do not make for a contented state of mind.

The Holy Spirit showed me that if I couldn't be content now, working at a time when a lot of people wish they were, I would not be content when I stopped working. If I couldn't be content here, I wouldn't be content there. It sobered me up and made me realize that by being discontented I was playing right into Satan's hands. I was allowing him to use me to grieve the Holy Spirit. In effect, I was saying to God, I'm   dissatisfied with you, I don't trust You to give me what I want, so I have to worry and fret and try to figure it out myself. That's a dangerous path to be on. It led the children of Israel to wander in the wilderness for forty years!

So, should we pray for the job, the house, the car, the healing? Absolutely, but when we pray for these things, let us ask God to give us contentment to wait on Him. Because when we are contented we are saying, God I trust You in this season of my life. I don't know how long it's going to last, but while I'm in it, I'm going to put on my hat, button up my coat and go out there and give it the best I have to give, because You are with me. You have promised "never to leave me or forsake me" (Hebrews 13:5) and I stand on your promises. God bless


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