Many of us know to pray. But many times, we run to prayer because we want God to change our situations and not our hearts. What good would it be if God answers our prayers for deliverance from bad situations but we remain in a place of rebellion and we have not surrendered to Him? God is merciful and He sometimes answers the prayers of those who are not serving Him. The scenario with King Ahab in1 Kings is a great example. The scripture lets us know that King Ahab was a wicked king and the last straw was when he had his hands dirtied in shedding the blood of an innocent man. In 1 Kings 21: 21-22, God used the prophet Elijah to let Ahab know that he would cut off his descendants because he had done so much evil in the sight of the Lord. When Ahab heard this, he humbled himself in fasting and prayer and asked God to have mercy. God heard the prayers of this wicked king and told him that the cutting off of his descendants would not happen in his lifetime. Ahab, however, ended up dying a very horrific death. The sad part of this story is that Ahab did not have a change of heart. His repentance was an external one. He prayed because he wanted his situation to change, not because he wanted to surrender to God. How tragic!
Should you come to God in prayer? Absolutely, He invites us to cast all of our cares on Him. However, above all, God desires our surrendered hearts. We should not restrict praying to only when we are in a bind, yet we remain distant from God. He does not want us to view him as a genie and come to Him only for what He can give us. Instead, He is a loving Father who desires intimacy and total surrender from his children. So yes, absolutely come to God in prayer, but make sure at the top of your request is the prayer for a surrendered heart.
Hello there! I am so excited to share that I just published my second book, “The Prayer Habit.” It is another 40 day devotional with a focus on prayer. This book was a special one for me to write because I dedicated it to my 92-year-old grandmother. I have watched her over the years and her life testifies of the fruit that comes from having a prayer habit. Click on this video to get a small sample of this humble woman of God.
If you would like a copy of this book, you can click on this amazon link. I would also appreciate it if you shared the link with others. Please and thank you!
In Daniel chapter 2, King Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream. He asked his wise men to both tell him his dream and provide an interpretation. The wise men thought this an impossible request. No one, they stated can tell a person their dream, except for the gods and they do not live among humans. The King was furious and ordered that all the wise men in Babylon be destroyed. Daniel, a servant of the true and living God heard the news. He asked the King for more time to get a revelation of the dream. Daniel went home and asked his three friends to pray and ask God for mercy and reveal the mystery to them. That night, in a vision, God revealed the dream to Daniel. Daniel could then tell the king both the dream and its meaning.
This is a powerful passage of scripture because it reminds me that prayer reveals mysteries. How many times do we find ourselves at a loss and we are not sure which direction to turn? Life can be complex and present many “mysteries.” We may have questions such as, “what should I do in this situation, who should I marry, is this job for me, what should I be doing in this season of my life, what is my purpose?” Prayer to the true and living God unveils the unknown and gives clarity. The question then is, how many of us consistently use this powerful weapon known as prayer? Do we go to God like Daniel and his friends when we need an answer? How many of us remain stubborn and try to fix and figure things out on our own? Are we quick to run to everyone else to give us the answers instead of running to God? God knows all, and He has an open-door policy. We can come to Him anytime, and anywhere. What a privilege that is!
When I go to the Dr. I share what is going on and after I am done sharing; I give him an opportunity to speak and give me advice on how to tackle the issue at hand. It would be silly if I just went, told him what was going on, and then got up and left his office before he gives feedback. We at times take this approach in our prayer life. We tell God all, but after we are done talking, we get up and leave. We don’t pause long enough to let Him respond. The point of bringing our issues to God is so He can give us direction. We should see prayer as a dialogue, not a one-sided conversation.
Whatever our issue, the Dr. normally prescribes something. If we are stressed, he may recommend that we get more rest. If there is an ailment in our body, he may prescribe a specific medication. The same is true for our time with God. He tells us what we should do to address our specific situation. He expects us to fill the prescription so to speak. If we choose not to, we cannot expect change. God gives us directives, but many times we don’t like what he prescribes so we walk in disobedience and pursue our own remedy. Then we lament about feeling spiritually stuck. When God speaks, it is always in our best interest to respond in obedience. He knows best.
Are you in the habit of listening to God in prayer or are you always the main one speaking? Is there something God told you to do that you have not followed through on? Has disobedience brought you any progress? I encourage you to continue to bring your issues to God in prayer but be sure you are not the only one speaking. Don’t become so obsessed with hearing your own voice that you drown out the voice of God. Make room for Him to speak and then respond in obedience to whatever He tells you to do.
I’m learning more about God. There are so many facets of His character that I didn’t understand, but the more I learn the more I want to know. I desire to go deeper in Him! I’m experiencing the tenderness of His heart, and I’m blown away because I didn’t know. I understand more. I see and feel it. This knowledge and first-hand experience compel me to weep and worship.
No keyboard in the background. No praise and worship team encouraging me to lift my hands. Just me and God kind of worship. I sing songs that have never been sung, they just flow from the deepest parts of my heart and they reflect my gratitude. Worship where I can “feel” His presence and I am undone!
I used to mourn over my problems and unanswered prayers; not anymore, because they are the tools that were used to give me a greater revelation! I am certain the answer will come, and the promises will be fulfilled-and quite frankly, I want them to. But I am content, truly content because I have attained even more. I now have greater intimacy with the one who has loved me with an everlasting love!
Psalm 27:4 NIV
One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
Have you ever prayed to hear God’s voice? Have you been stuck, uncertain of your next moves and you need the Lord to speak to you? I have. I go and pour my heart out asking the Lord to provide clarity. However, when He gives me an answer I don’t want, I go back with the same prayer request, “Oh God please let me hear your voice!” But what I am really saying is, “God I heard what you said but I don’t like that response. I don’t want to do it! Can you please come up with some other alternative?” He is God and I am not. Even though I don’t always like what I hear when He speaks to me, it is always in my best interest to respond in obedience. Deuteronomy 28 lists all the blessing that follow when Israel obeyed God’s instructions. We love to shout about those promises, ‘blessed going out blessed coming in!’ But before you get to shouting, don’t forget to read that passage in its entirety. The latter verses share the consequences of disobeying God. This passage reminds us that God does provide direction for His people and tell them what He expects of them. However, the ability to hear His voice demands a response of obedience from the hearer.
God speaks to us in many ways. It may be in a dream, from His word, through another believer, or just a strong inner knowing, among many other ways. Don’t take for granted that the creator of the universe speaks to you! Even if it is not what you want to hear, you know He won’t lead you in the wrong direction. As we prepare to enter a new year, do you find yourself with unfinished God tasks? You know, the things the Lord told you to do when you asked to hear His voice. The things you did not want to do. Yeah, those things. The start of a New Year does not mean that God will change His mind. I encourage you to not only pray to hear God’s voice but to also pray for a heart to obey when He does speak even if it is not what YOU WANT TO DO. His grace is there to attend you!