What Kind of Pray-er Are You?
I’ve often felt guilty, or just plain old bad, about my prayer life. I certainly know first hand and believe in the power of prayer, but upon examining my “prayer life” it is certainly something that I know could use some work.
Today, in Richard Rohr’s Lenten reflection he says,
“Did you know that you only ask for what you have already begun to experience? Otherwise it would never occur to you to ask for it. Further, God seems to plant within us the desire to pray for what God already wants to give us, and even better, God has already begun to give it to us!”
I read this and realized just how true it is – especially if we are to take Jesus words from Matthew 7:7-12 seriously. “Ask, seek, knock, and your Father in heaven will give you good gifts!” In fact, Jesus seems to be saying that God is already giving us what we are asking for. This, Rohr says, is absolutely true!
In prayer, God is already giving us answers. Otherwise, how would we know what to pray for?
Back to my prayer life…
This notion of God being active in and through our prayers before we even pray them, think them, ask, seek, knock, is comforting and relieving. For me, I feel a release and sense of relief knowing that God is in full control and fully capable of answering even unspoken prayers – those prayers that are no more audible than groanings or “sighs in the Spirit.”
Consider something you’ve been praying about recently. Why has this been on your mind or heart? Why is this person, that situation, or this need something weighing on your conscience? Is it possible that God is already working in these things, and praying is a way of changing your attitude, your heart, your way of thinking in relation to these things? Is it possible that an answer to prayer is already taking shape?
Is it possible that God really is that Good Father that Jesus mentions – the one who gives graciously when the children ask, seek, and knock?
After reading Rohr’s words I began thinking about the things for which I’ve been praying of late. Baseball has begun and I’m coaching again. I find myself praying for literal doors to be opened for conversation, encouragement, and mentorship. I’m praying for our students at Bethany Covenant to go deeper in faith and to increase their capacity to trust God with their WHOLE lives. I’m praying for my colleagues in ministry, for friends who are looking for work, and for people in need of healing. I’m praying, and I’m a little more relaxed knowing that God is already opening the doors for conversation, moving in students’ lives, providing for those in need, and healing those who are suffering. God is already answering prayers. This gives me comfort, confidence, and incredible joy. This removes my feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and guilt.
So I ask again, is it possible that God really is that Good Father that Jesus mentions, alive and active in the world today, eager to good gifts to those who ask, seek, and knock?
If this is true, I dare you to imagine what praying a little more might do! What a concept! What a God!