Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Shopping. Some of us love it. Some of us hate it. And, some of us really don’t think about it at all, we just do it.

The shopping experience is an interesting one, especially if you’re on a budget, and you’re trying to stretch every dollar to the Nth degree. Take clothes shopping, sometimes you just need a shirt, it doesn’t matter what color it is or what style it is, you just need it. So, you go looking through the racks and find one, then another, and another and all of them will fit the bill.

But, sometimes you’re looking for something in particular, aren’t you? You need a black shirt to go with whatever, and it has to be in a certain style because otherwise it won’t match. It’s that kind of shopping that is draining because no matter how hard you look, if you can’t find that particular shirt, then the whole thing has been a wash.

Then there are times when the opposite is true. You think you have a lot of shopping options. But, no matter how hard you look, you always come back to the same item, over and over, and, over and over again, until at last you just give up and buy it.

Sometimes I do a little shopping when I pray, and I would imagine that you do too. We keep going back to God with a question, problem or issue, hoping He’s going to give us a different answer from the one He’s already given us, then are surprised when it’s the same.

I don’t really like leadership positions. I try to avoid them as much as possible, preferring to stay in the Shadowlands, and help out behind the scenes. So, when I was first asked to lead a Bible study group, I wasn’t too keen on the idea.

So, I went to God in prayer and got a resounding ‘yes.’ But, I didn’t like that answer, so I let it lay quietly for a couple of days and went back again half hoping He would give me a different answer. He didn’t. It was still a firm ‘yes.’ So, I left it alone for another couple of days, all the while knowing that soon I would be trying to dodge phone calls from the teaching director who needed to know what I was going to do. Again, I went to Him, prayed about it, and again got the same answer. ‘Yes.”

My shopping did me no good, which isn’t surprising at all. After all, God is God, and He doesn’t change His mind. But we would still like Him to wouldn’t we? We all want a god who is going to behave himself, a god who is going to see we don’t want to do something and allow us to dictate what we will or will not do. We want a god who will let us off the hook.

But, He’s not like that. He loves us too much to allow us free rein, and He wants a relationship with us too much to allow us to go shopping for an answer that will please us, instead of one that’s good for us. In short, there are times when we just have to accept that He is God and He knows what He is doing, and no amount of shopping is going to change that.

“But You are the same and Your years will never end.”

Psalm 102:27

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We’re all created differently with different personalities, different talents, different tolerance levels, yet God takes all those differences in His children, binding them together into a whole.

How we pray is as unique as who we are.

How our personalities differ

There are those whose emotional lives are like shark teeth, with the high and low points that look more like the jagged teeth in that amazing predator’s mouth than anything else; those with the floating, even keel in their inner lives that, to me, looks more like a jelly fish; and everything in between.

Whether it’s true or not, I’ve always viewed myself more like the jelly fish as far as my emotional life goes, I just kind of float along with whatever happens, which is why God seems to be trying to get me to be more, well, bold. Not an easy task for a jelly fish who has the attention span of a gnat, but through Him all things are possible, so I go with it.

How we pray

I was reminded of this propensity of mine to just go with it this week when a friend of mine and I were praying for another friend who is ill. Now, my praying friend is not a jelly fish in her emotional life at all, neither is she a sharks tooth up and down person, but she is very bold and definite in her approach to things, which made praying with her for our other friend very interesting.

We both prayed. She with her bold self prayed for a complete healing, a miracle, approaching the throne and making her petition known to God very clearly, definitely and with a spirit-deep passion that left no room for doubt as to what she was asking for. I was suitably impressed.

We are told to approach Him boldly through Christ, but she had it nailed down in a way I’d never seen before.

Me, with my less bold self, approached God a little more slowly and didn’t ask for a complete healing or even a healing at all. Instead, I asked for God’s will to be done, for comfort, for guidance and most of all that our friend would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has not forsaken her in this, that He is and always will be at her side, no matter what happens.

When we have different personalities, We pray differently

It occurred to me afterward, that the difference in our prayers, like the difference in our personalities serve a purpose in His body.

All of our prayers, whether bold or timid, even those that are sometimes contradictory, rise up to Him blending and threading together. Yet, somehow He hears them, making sense of them all, then does something with them, responding and answering them in ways we never thought to imagine.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16

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