I'm building on the last post regarding prayer and how we treat it. Lately, God has been little by little changing the heart of my prayers to him. For a long time, I struggled praying period because I felt way too selfish in my motives to even lift anything up to God about whatever was on my heart. I was always praying in a way that seemed pointless and really not in line with how God would have me pray them. My husband then was introduced recently to a beautiful prayer that had a complete heart of surrender to it. I've been actively praying it nearly every day. It really has opened my eyes to how skewed my prayers had become because many times they were always based on my wants, my desires, my motives, etc that were simply self-serving. I mean I knew that I did that before, but didn't really know how to pray sincerely with a pure heart and then expect pure results from Him or what to look for...and accept the answers or lack of answers given.
Well, Jesus says in Matthew 6 clearly that we are to keep our prayers simple but also in a position of giving over control and manipulation to get God to do what we want Him to do. We can ask for His daily provisions, for answers, to protect us from temptations and the enemy, but in the end admit to Him in our hearts that all the we are and all that we have belong to Him and it is about His will and His purpose in the end. So in that, as I'm learning to pray more in this way, I'm also finding that a surrendered prayer definitely is the most freeing way to go...and one that will open my eyes to see God in ways I couldn't before.
Jesus says in Matthew 6: 9-13, Pray, then, in this way:
'Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10'Your kingdom come
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Simple but pointed but recognizing God as the head of it all.
But then you see the ultimate surrender prayer from Christ before His crucifixion:
Matthew 26:39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."
How often are we able to have this heart that Christ has...and how can we have it? I'm finding that as much as we don't like to admit it, it is through the impossible circumstances and when we are at the end of ourselves, that we tend to be most likely to surrender everything. So sometimes when we ask to have the pain and suffering removed, we are asking for Him to remove our surrendered hearts as well...and ultimately we will miss the joy and freedom of what He might do with that surrendered heart despite our circumstances. So I have been taking on the challenge of praying with surrender and being in awe of God and His mighty plan that is so much bigger than my wants, desires, and pleas for relief from difficulties. It is then that I believe we will see our true desires and wants met...because God doesn't ignore the true heart that He gave us.
I may be off some in my thinking, I don't know. But that is just what I have come to discover in this part of my journey. Surrender is hard, but necessary for a liberating life in Christ.