Prayerful, Hopeful, Thankful

I was reminded in my study time last night of giving thought to how I pray. So many times, we pray answers rather than requests. We've all done it. We pray for someone to be healed, to receive something very specific and then we are disappointed when we don't see it happen. So, have you considered how you are praying? I did this great study on prayer years ago in a women's Bible study group and I pulled it back out a few days ago. It is full of such good stuff on prayer! Last night I read the portion that specifically talks about how we pray. It caused me to stop myself in the middle of my prayer time this morning and I realized...I don't like this, I am not used to this! What was it I didn't like? You know it is coming.....surrender. When we pray for a need, a dream, a situation that we've been made aware of for someone we love dearly, are we truly giving it all to God and trusting Him to handle it? I believe wholeheartedly that God wants us to be specific in our prayer time, so please don't misunderstand what I mean. In every sense of the word, we must surrender every care, every need, every want in our lives to His care. When we detail in our prayers what we hope for, what we think is best, or will make the situation better, are we truly trusting God to do His will? Or, are we asking Him to do what we want or what we think is best? This process for me is already changing the way I pray. I am immediately aware of my intent in what I ask of God. So we have to consider very carefully, are we trying to interpret what God's will is for a situation in our method of prayer? I wonder. I will not change my prayer methods in one sense, that I know God wants to hear my hurts, my joys, my dreams, my needs, but along with that I will release it all by recognizing above it all He is the author and perfector of my faith, He knows what my life will be from start to finish, and I cannot attempt to fully understand Him nor can I match His wisdom. When we choose to surrender our all, and trust Him with every fiber of our being, we learn to be content as He intends. If you are as unsettled as I am, then you are probably in the majority because most of us have to admit it is so easy to get comfortable with what we think is certain in the tangible sense. I know it sounds strange, but I think that is when we are right where God wants us to be. Content in Him, content to trust He is in control, but discontented with this world and all that is in it. That's the moment we are ready to embrace our God fully, that is the moment when we are absolutely helpless, recognize our own vulnerability and find confidence in Christ alone. When we find it, then we can find true confidence in ourselves. As we approach this weekend and what it may or may not hold for us, I hope you will join me in praying God's will. Pray for safe travel for our family, pray for favor for Ryan and I in the opportunities that are before us, and pray that we remain humbled and grateful for what God has given us. We want to embrace each day with a thankful heart simply for its own, and not look too far ahead. Romans 12:12 (The Message) “Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder."
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