My prayers kind of remind myself of a puppy pining from next to a table. I kind of look up all puppy-dog eyed and beg for scraps.
It looks like this:
Day 1: “Please God. Help me God. Do this thing_________________!”
Day 2: “Please God. Help me God. Do this thing_________________!”
Day 3: “Please God. Help me God. Do this thing_________________!”
Day 4: “I really need this. I need it right now… “Hey God, maybe you don’t really want to do it, but please do it anyway.”
Day 5: “God, do you hear me? I need it….” I wonder, does God really hear me and love me?
Day 6: Silence. I say nothing. What is the use?!
Day 7: I give up hope in praying.
The more I beg and get fed, the more I keep up the begging, but if the master doesn’t hand me any good food, I start wondering why I am forgotten. I start wondering why I am next to his table when he can’t even see me.
I start asking, “What is the use?”
A wound sets in and I keep licking it…
No answers. And deeper it burns.
Roadblocks. The more it stings.
Discouraged faith. The infection sets in.
After walking around like this for a while, I am coming to think: Sometimes, God lets our wounds sit wounded, so that we can see how wounded we are without a right view of him.
Clarity sets in: I really feel abandoned.
A new prayer takes form: Let me see your love.
God’s prompting arises: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer an supplication to God, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses understanding will guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)
Answers appear: You may be praying, but you are hardly thanking.
In an instant, what feels broken suddenly gets mending, because what I remember is God is always working. He doesn’t have to speak, or appear or provide some emotional answer, but as I pray he is working.
Why else would he tell us to thank him when we pray. For when we ask, he then takes it on. We can at that point thank him for what he is working out.
Will it always look like we expect? No.
Will it tend to end up better than that? Quite often.
Will we end up looking more and more like Christ? Yes.
And that is worth giving thanks over.
Thanks that sounds like this:
Thank you that you hear me God.
Thank you God that this is now in your hands and you have it.
Thank you God that you are for me.
Thank you God that you know best.
Thank you God that you will never desert me to my destruction-ending plans.
Thank you God that you are always leading me to the better way.
Thank you God that you have a Christ-like vision for my heart.
Thank You God that everyday I can trust that you see me and want me.
How might your perspective change if you just said thanks?