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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

God isn't Santa Clause

As I laid in bed before daylight this morning I didn't want to get up and I couldn't go back to sleep. I tossed and turned and decided to spend the next few quiet moments taking some much needed things to Jesus.  I asked for some pretty bold things, repented of some things and while I was talking to Him I thought how I must sound like a broken record at times.  I picture God saying "well here comes Holly again with the same thing she asked me for just a few days ago".  Now I know that God isn't like this but when I am asking Him for the very same things over and over I often wonder what He thinks.  I am learning a few things about my prayer life as well as prayer in general and I want to share with you. 

#1 It's not the words that you use that move the hand of God - 

Matthew 6:7

"When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again."

When we pray with empty words and promises to do something in order to get God to bend to our request we have made it about us. It's easy to pray for other people because we want them to change rather than loving them where they are and praying for our words, actions and lives to be an instrument of hope and change in their lives. Praying with intent of allowing God to do what He wants and wills is an act of surrender. Prayers laced with surrender takes the power out of your hands of trying to manipulate and rightfully places God in charge no matter the outcome.  When we pray for others we essentially stand in the gap for them therefore we must make sure our motives in praying reflect that. I never want my prayers to sound like a never ending song. I have so many women surrounding me that are numb, or their marriage seems to be failing apart along with others who have no desire to pursue Jesus any longer based on what seems His inactivity.  I believe that when we let our words reflect the desperation of our hearts God reaches in and our hearts begin to shift.  Pray with words that are not rooted in religion but instead rooted in the very love you have for Jesus. 

2. Prayer is essential to your growth

I want nothing more than to see my church grow, to lose weight, to get a new car and to have my girls grow in their passion for Jesus. I pray on a regular basis about my needs and the things I want to happen not realizing all that God is doing in me through this season I am in. I believe it's the things that keep us in desperation for Him that also brings maturity to our faith. We grow when we are depending fully on Gods strength & His provision to carry us, mold us and grow us into who He created us to be.  When you feel as if you have no words to reach the heavens know that God already knows,  so just praise Him and thank Him for the process.  We crave completion and prayer is our connection to the ONE and only completion we will ever obtain. God doesn't allow us to stay where we are instead He uses every word spoken or not spoken, every tear cried on an altar or words written in a journal to move us and to grow us so we must allow our prayers to stretch us. 

3. What is it that you truly need

God isn't Santa clause. That's a tough reality for many including myself to swallow at times. When you need healing to come or a financial miracle to take place it's easy to beg God with open arms for the result we want. For the girl who wants that perfect guy to the guy who needs that acceptance letter to prove himself to his parents that he is enough I get it. We crave to be known in a world that pushes that concept in every area of social media to books that line the shelves in every store. We need for things to workout and through prayer our wants become the very driving force of our communication with God. The depth of our faith is measured by how much we trust God. When I lose, or when I don't get what I want my response clearly shows the condition of my heart and just how much I truly trust my Creator. He tells us in Romans 8:28 that ALL things work together and yet we usually forget that when things don't go the way we plan. If I am honest with myself I have wanted some pretty shallow material things and while praying I have tucked them in between the words of my needs. If I ask myself what it is that I truly need it's not those things at all. When we allow our need to be known to connect with a want we will eventually be in the danger zone of pride.  

4. Pray as if you are free 

So many times I find myself saying I'm sorry for past sins and yet live as if I was never forgiven. Freedom is the very reason Jesus died (Galatians 5:1) and we have to come boldly Into His presence and stand in our redemption.  Struggles are real but Gods redeeming grace and love will always win. 

These are just a few truths that God seems to be showing me in this season of my life.  There are days where we can feel the weight of our daily stress or thoughts that push us towards defeat and instead of throwing our hands up in complete surrender we ball our fist and shake it at God. The beautiful thing about freedom is that it blooms out of our surrender. God wants you to freely walk in the fullness of His power and presence. Defeat is not an option when you are choosing to walk in the One who has already won!   

How can I pray for you today? 

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