I have had many thoughts about prayer lately. And, I have noticed one thing I often get stuck in and that is asking, begging and pleading to God for answers especially when facing desperate circumstances in my life or that of a loved one.
I do believe there is a time for seeking God for answers and even miracles like Hannah who poured out her heart before God on her knees crying, shaking at times in her desperation for a child because she was barren.
In these moments, the Holy Spirit will engage with our prayers and intercession. I have been there. During the early years of our marriage I found myself bent over in prayer asking, requesting and pleading to God for a child and this went on for a long period. I was desperate.
But there needs to be a balance and part of this includes a shift in attitude because I believe it is possible to block blessings, provisions, answers by getting stuck in prayers of pleading and prayers of desperation and frustration.
At some point we must break out of this pattern and shift our focus to that of being worthy to receive answers.
We are children of God. The sons and daughters of the King of Kings. And because of this God invites us to:
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and may find grace for help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NASV)
Because of our position as a child of God, we are worthy and even deserving of blessings, provision and healing. Not because of our own righteousness but because Jesus has made us righteous, and we are now included in the family of God complete with all the rights and privileges that come with it:
9 Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:9-11 NASV)
This verse speaks of expecting good things from God, our Heavenly Father, because we are His children.
Pleading and begging over and over for provision may indicate we have an unhealthy perception and possibly an unhealthy relationship with God our Father. We need to pray with the understanding and confidence that we are children of God.
There comes a time when we must break out of intercession and change our attitude to one of expectation that our Father will bless and provide.
Often during the day, I will walk into my living room and open myself up to receive God’s provision. I will stand and raise my hands, looking up at the ceiling and just thank God for His many blessings, interventions and provisions in my life.
Thankfulness and an attitude of gratitude, even in the midst of storms and testings, can shift things from one of pleading to one of expectation of God’s provision.
Thanksgiving can be the lightning bolt that brings the rain of blessings during the storms of life. We must adjust the posture of our heart and open ourselves up to receive God’s blessing, provision and healing from a loving heavenly Father who always has our best interests at heart.
There is a point when we need to intentionally change our approach and our language in prayer.