“You are the answer to your own prayer”: 7 prayers you may be the answer for.

“Prayer reminds us that we are human while also reminding us that God is God.” Charlie Dates

In daily prayer life, people can tend to miss a couple of things. First, we miss out on some very important aspects of prayer.  The largest portion of our prayer shouldn’t be spent on petition (presenting requests). In fact, I feel more time should be placed upon exaltation (act of elevating something or someone…namely Jesus), adoration (confession of passion), and intercession (the action of intervening on behalf of another) than upon our own petitions.  It helps us get our eyes off of ourselves and place our focus upon the Lord.  It removes selfishness within our prayer by making others a priority.

Secondly, we miss being the answer we’re praying for.  We pray in order to release something out of our hands so that it can be God’s responsibility.  It’s sounds great.  I love taking things to the Lord and praying the words of Jehoshaphat, by saying: 

“We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

It’s within this moment that, perhaps, we don’t always catch that, what we are trying to release to God, He may not want to release us from. Perhaps, if we’re willing to listen, we’ll realize we may be the answer to the prayer we are praying.  What I mean by that is that if we are willing to be obedient to the Holy Spirit, it is through you that the Lord wants to work in and through you to provide the answer to the prayer you’ve been praying.  We’re so easy to use prayer as our way of, to use a cliché, of “letting go and letting God.”  Why don’t we see ourselves as candidates for God to work wonders through?  I love what Paul said to the Galatians

“…It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me…”

Paul recognized that in his every day life, it was the life of Christ that was working through him.  The grace of God empowered him to live his life as well as be a blessing to others to see Kingdom work accomplished. It wasn’t done to EVER exalt Paul, everything was done to exalt Jesus. Here you go, 7 prayers you may be the answer for

1. “Lord, there’s a family in need in my neighborhood.  Can you send someone to help them?” 

2. “I pray that you would help the people in my workplace/school hear/see a clear display of the Gospel.” 

3. “Please give my children an example in their life of a Godly man/woman.”

4. “I pray for that person that’s been struggling with sickness.  Can you send a pastor to visit them?”

5. “I saw some new people in church on Sunday. Would you send someone to connect with them?”

6. “Would you send someone to disciple my friend who is a new Christian?” 

7. “There’s a ministry need in our church, will you put that need in someone’s heart to step up and volunteer?”

Jesus is always the answer.  But stop eliminating yourself from being used by Him in opportunities that He is making available to you.  Perhaps the miracle people are waiting to see is not necessarily you, but Christ working through you.  Step out as a vessel of the Holy Spirit and watch God do amazing things. 

Spend some time in prayer today.  Be ready to respond in the way Eli told Samuel to respond

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

2 Minute Marriage Devo – Day 8

Welcome to our 2 Minute Devos. This month we are in our Annual Marriage Series at Kalamazoo First Assembly of God and we’re going through devotions for couples. Take the time to read through the passage of the day and listen to the 2 Minute Devo.

Colossians 3:13

…bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Marriage Blog: I Wish You Were…

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A sinking boat.

It’s the only image that could come to mind when I hear couples use the comparison phrase:

“I wish you were more like…”

Each time it’s said, it’ s like another hole is being drilled in the bottom of a boat.  Every time the quote starts out, more water floods in…threatening to sink the vessel.

“I wish you were more like…”

When it comes to marriage, it’s very easy to compare your own to someone else’s.  It is not just seeing a couple you know holding hands, going out one a date, or making out in public. It’s in the sweet birthday Facebook posts or the anniversary tweets. In social media, there are a myriad ways people can publicly express their love to their partners and spouses so that everyone else can see and hear how much in love they still are.

We place ourselves in an unfair situation when we compare our relationship with another person’s.  It’s really like comparing apples and oranges. Because as much as we’d like to think that we’re getting the full picture of their relationship, we’re really only seeing small snippets of behaviors and interactions that could have all sorts of meanings.

You look at another marriage.  You compare your spouse to them. The thought forms in your mind and festers in your heart. If it’s not corrected, inevitably, it will come out of your mouth.

“I wish you were more like ________’s husband, he…
…listens to his wife.”
…really cares about his wife.”
…makes her feel special.”
…is romantic like you used to be.”
…takes care of himself better.”

“I wish you were more like ________’s wife, she…
…listens to her husband.”
…is affectionate with her husband.”
…doesn’t speak to her husband like that.”
…takes care of herself better.”

Marital comparison kills marriages.  It deteriorates the integrity of the vessel/marriage.  We get frustrated with what other people have and then we fire off the phrase…

“I wish you were more like…”

These words are not constructive.  They’re manipulative.

Are you guilty of saying it? Are you guilty of thinking it?

The truth is that you have absolutely no idea what’s really going on behind closed doors. I’ve learned that what we’re seeing (at parties, dinners, on Facebook, and on TV) are just snapshots and highlight reels of what people want to share.

Why do we have to be someone else?  More specifically, why does our spouse have to be someone else? I’m not against personal growth/maturity and marital development. But why can’t we be…well ourselves.  Be the marriage and the people Christ created us to be.  Imagine if every prayer time was filled with the Holy Spirit speaking to us “I wish you were more like (insert someone’s name).” But he doesn’t do that to us.  In fact, we are not called to model and reflect any one person except the person of Jesus Christ.  It says in 2 Corinthians 3:18:

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and REFLECT the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Would you change something today? Would you deal with the marital envy in your life? Would you stop praying for your spouse to change to be more of who YOU want them to be?

Pray this:

God change me today.  Let what my spouse sees in me be Christ in me.  Let me attitude and my actions reflect the person and the character of who Jesus is.  Forgive my wandering eyes of envy deterring me from the joy you want me to have with my spouse.  Help me to find my contentment not in what I obtain but in who you are. Bless my spouse today. I ask not for the change I desire to see with my own eyes, but the change you desire to do within his/her life. Holy Spirit, develop in his/her life the character of Christ.  Let his/her life shine with the reflection of the glory of the Lord and not the reflection of what I think he/she should be.  Thank you for my wife/husband. I thank you that he/she is fearfully and wonderfully made.  I thank you for placing him/her in my life.  Help me to walk in thankfulness towards him/her.  Amen

Does the phrase “I wish you were…” consume your thoughts? If so, marital envy is knocking at the door, desiring to sink your marriage.

Take a step back.  Pray over your heart.  Pray for your spouse.  And let the Holy Spirit do the change in your spouse you’ve been trying so hard to do.

Thanks for letting me ramble…