I’m in a period of re-thinking how I pray to God. A sermon was on the radio the other day, where the preacher said that a lot of us go to God with a checklist of wants. Even when they are answered we come back with more and more and more. As if our Heavenly Father, were Santa Clause, and his sole purpose was to satisfy our wants. Even Santa Clause gave coal.
It made me think how I would feel if that was happening to me. All day long, I want this, help me with that, give me this, on and on. Then barely a thank you. If there is a thank you, a 10 sec one compared to the 30 minutes to several hours of wanting this and that. I would be pretty annoyed. I probably would hit the mute button or stop picking up calls. However our God is such a gracious and merciful God that despite our selfish nature He’s there for us. Even though He is worthy of all our praise and adoration, he gets less than a tithe of that.
“You are worthy, our LORD and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being”
There are some examples of prayer in the bible that make me feel ashamed. That they humbled themselves so much before the Lord, and revered God earnestly and dutifully knew his word. One example is Nehemiah. Such an exemplary man of God. He saw his people were in dire need and instead of praying for the need to be filled by someone else he beseeched God to help him to fill it. He fasted and prayed for days. Preparing himself for even the smallest first step of getting the king to agree to help him (Neh 1:5-10). I confess that I don’t go to God with the meekest of hearts. There are times that I’ve spoken to Him in an entitled way, as If my experiences and the “effort” I’ve put into following his doctrines entitled me to his blessings and attention. In reality, I should just be thankful that I even have His way to follow. That I can have aspirations to walk and live as Christ did, striving to be Christ-like as the name “Christian” signifies. His ways are not burdensome, but exactly the opposite.
Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5: 3
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Despite knowing all of this I’m still not humble. It’s a thing of the flesh, to desire acknowledgement for what you are supposed to do anyway. It’s not surprising that one of my love languages is “words of affirmation.” Even when I’ve done a good deed that I originally meant to be anonymous, I can’t help dropping hints or at least telling one person how good of a person I am. See, see I’m so good I did it anonymously. Cant have everyone knowing how caring I am… *smirk* Another word for this is PRIDE. To be proud of your deeds, lifestyle, ambitions, status, and more is a great way to tell God ” look at all I’ve achieved, on my own… without you.” We may not think we’re telling God that, but when we’re not humble but prideful we’re doing just that. You see if you won an award but actually won it mostly through the help and grace of someone help, you would be humble about it. You wouldn’t shout to the rooftop “YES I DID IT!,” but in humility you would be thankful for the help you received that got you there. That’s how we should be with everything we’re blessed with in life, because they are all blessings from God. We didn’t get them on our own, so why should we boast as if we did. Easier said than done right? I know my weakness in this and that’s the first step to fixing any issue. Acknowledging your weaknesses is also a form of humility. So one by one, I’m praying that God reveals all of mine to me. This way I can perfect myself for his use.