Are you praying the wrong prayers, too?

_RWP1916There are so many days when I wonder what on earth I am doing.  When I feel mixed up and turned around.   When I look to God and wonder how He’s moving, stirring.  When I unload the dishwasher for the ten thousandth time and I know that this is it, that this is where I’m to be and yet…

The heart is a restless beast.  It seeks and savours, it devours and destroys.

I plead with Jesus as I’m pulling bowls from the top rack and clunking them together noisily though the house is quiet and the windows show nothing but dark and stars.  I ask for God to show me.  To use me.  To guide me.

In the dark and the silence my heart tells me that I’m praying the wrong prayers.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”  (Psalm 32:8)

The promises of the Lord ring true in my ears and pound deeply in my heart and I know that there is no need for me to pray that He guide me or that he teach me.  He says so clearly that He will.  I simply need to believe.  I need to believe that what He says is true and rest in the promises of His words.

He will instruct me.  He will teach me.  He will show me which way to go.

It’s a drink of water for my parched soul.  It’s a place of rest for my striving heart.  It begs me to just stop.  Stop, already.

It speaks that this, this right here, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing for His honour and glory, this is His place for you.  It means we don’t need to search endlessly for new ideas or be the champions on a stage or write a book or fly across oceans or tire our hearts with the wondering if this is really it.  We don’t need to start new programs or be funny or entertaining or have the pinterest perfect home.  We don’t need to be the bravest or the smartest or the one who shines for all to see.  We don’t need to have a large audience or bake the best cookies or always know the right words to say.

We don’t need to weary ourselves with the constant trying.  Because trying is wearisome business.

Because this is it.  His eye is upon us.

Why must I pray that He be with me when I know that He always is?  Why do I ask for him to use me when I know that He does?  Why do I ask him to watch over me when so clearly He states that He always has?

My heart grows weary from the asking.  My mind groans with the wondering.  This is not the place of rest that He promises, it is a place of human worry and restlessness and striving and fear that I’ve missed the mark.

My prayer needs to change.  Maybe yours does to?

In Mark 9:17-28 a father comes before Jesus seeking help for his son.  He starts with, “if you can…”

So much like my prayers.  If you can help me.  If you can guide me.  If you can use me.  If you can protect them.  If you can be near them.  If you can keep them from harm.  If you can heal them.  If you can draw them unto you.   If you can teach me.  If you can go to them.  If you can change their hearts.  If you can free them.  If you can provide for them.  If you can show them how much they need you.  If you can turn hearts of stone to hearts of flesh.  If you can rescue them.  If you can give, take away, make yourself real to.  If you can…

Jesus response is this.  “If I can!”


The sad truth of it is that I truly forget who I’m approaching at times.  I forget who I’m asking the questions of.  I forget the things I’ve read and I forget the promises that He’s made.

There is no need for me to pray, ” if you can…” to a God who I know can.

Instead I need to pray the call of the father in response to Jesus.

I believe.  Help my unbelief!

This is where I’ll start today.  Help my unbelief.  Make your promises believable to me.  Sink them deep into my mind and even deeper into my heart.  Allow them to change me.  Allow them to free me.  Allow them to give my worn out heart a rest.  The rest that you promise.  The rest that comes from not only knowing your truth but believing it with all I am.

If you have the time I’d invite you to read the most beautiful prayer I think I’ve ever laid eyes on.  You can find it here.


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