Yesterday I visited a new church. I’ve been looking for my home church since I returned from South Africa, slowly getting up the courage to try yet another new church, after having already visited a few that just weren’t the right fit. But I had already been to this one several times a few years back, and I had a sneaking suspicion that God was calling me there.
I stepped in, and the church was radically different than a few years ago, but fundamentally the same. The worship touched my heart, and I knew that God was calling me there. And then the guest speaker, a missionary from Cambodia, got up to speak.
And he spoke on something which God has been laying on my heart: prayer.
Friends, God is not your personal assistant. <–Click to Tweet
The main message of the sermon was that God doesn’t want us to hand Him a to do list of things we want, and then expect life to suddenly change. That’s easy. Pray, check, done.
God wants us to pray as part of a relationship with Him. He wants to hear our heartfelt words-praying not just for ourselves, but selflessly for others. He wants pray to grow our faith and strengthen our relationship with Him. This is a lot harder, but ultimately more rewarding.
I’ve been consciously thinking about how I pray for the last few weeks. Since the start of the last Hello Mornings challenge, I’ve been changing how I pray, journaling my prayers each morning and focusing not so much on myself, but how my life can reflect His love and glorify Him. And this message was just what I needed.
The two most important things I took away from yesterday was:
1. Our prayer life is a journey where God is teaching us who He is and who He wants us to be.
Life is a journey, and our prayers should be the same. I’ve been caught in the trap of praying the exact same prayers over and over. But if I end up journaling different things each day, shouldn’t I also be praying different things each day. Prayer needs to be a conversation, and I’m working on it. As I pray more consciously, I am noticing a difference. Prayer grows faith, friends. <–Click to Tweet.
2. Persevere in prayers that are aligned with God’s heart.
This one hit hard. It’s easy to pray for things, but it’s hard to pray for things that align with God’s heart because we have to know God’s heart. But God has great plans for us, and if we grow and listen, we will hear from Him, and we will begin to know His heart.
It was wonderful to go to a church and hear a message that seemed tailored to what I needed and what God had been laying on my heart. Needless to say, I’ll be returning to that church. Yesterday, something clicked. And I’ll continue to focus on how I pray.
How do you pray, friends?