Monday, September 20, 2010

Stop Telling

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in…

Psalm 121:8
Numerous times I have felt it necessary to “tell” God what he needed to do—“Be with us now.” “Be with Mary.” “Take care of my family.” “Guard and protect Pete as he travels.” My “to do” list for God is endless! I sometimes forget that God already knows what I need. Consequently I fall short in acknowledging his all-knowing character.

Listen closely to most prayers and you’ll hear the majority of Christians telling God that he needs to do something. Sometimes there’s a brief thanksgiving and then a quick dash towards the request line. And, of course the request line is always the longest. It’s almost as though God is viewed as a type of cosmic waiter, standing by patiently waiting for our orders because he has no idea what we could possibly need.

Some may argue that it’s appropriate to acknowledge our needs. But there is a distinct difference between acknowledging our needs and telling God what needs to be done. I remember once telling God that he needed to remove an enemy from my life…they steadfastly remained. Finally, I gave up and acknowledged God’s all-knowing character. In the process I learned a few uncomfortable things about myself. The time came when my enemy was removed but I was no longer in the mode of telling.

When I pray I want my starting point to be assumption…the Lord will keep. It changes the nature of my requests. God knows. What I truly need, every day, is the ability to believe it.

God, I acknowledge your all-knowing character.
I believe that there is no empty space between you and me.
Help me to be always mindful that You know best!


Maureen said...

Thanks for the reminder. Too often, I am afraid I end up giving God His "to do" list for the day. Not intentionally, but it does happen. God, as I pray, keep me aware of to whom I am praying.

full of hope said...

After reading today's thoughts, I was thinking about how I would feel if my children had asked me everyday, "Mommy, are you going to feed me dinner tonight?" I would have felt insulted or hurt over their worry that I would not care for them! Do I repeatedly ask the Lord for the things He has already promised me? Your comments today have reminded me that I do not need to give God a "to do list" because I can assume that the Lord will care for me. Also, I am reminded to approach the Lord with a humble spirit for His will regarding situations in my life.