Prayer has a catch; one MUST be mindful when asking things of God.
I know that some of our prayers are uttered with little forethought, spoken without going very deep into the heart. Quick, light and just enough to take care of business. Kind of like placing an order at a fast-food drive through. Few words are necessary to order a burger, fries, and soda. Well perhaps maybe no pickle or some fry sauce on the side. We tend to pray like this. An express-style prayer to throw some blessing on the pizza, amen and done. I think it is comparable to how a television can be ‘on’ while no one is listening or watching with any real intent. Background noise is what we call it.
But for prayer, is this right? Are we to slap short, rapid prayers onto our meals or to remind God that someone we know needs what we call ‘traveling mercies, amen’ and then on to the next subject of our interest? Maybe God tunes these prayers out. I certainly would.
He has full authority to do so, being that He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and greater than all of creation. The receiver of our prayers is I AM; the One who by His will created and masters every element holding the universe together.
Before praying anything… consider WHO is hearing this prayer: God. Take enough time to quiet your thoughts and to rid your mind of all extraneous issues that compete for your attention. Be de-cluttered and find your focus before speaking a single word. That can be a challenge! Put away or turn off the phone. Get out of the noise and step free from the workstation, go any place where it will allow you to have an intimate conversation with God most high. Even if it is in a hardware store restroom with a lockable door, go there. Superman could step into a phone booth whenever he needed to get some superpower going on. But Superman would be hard-pressed these days to locate even one phone booth!
A ‘prayer closet’ can be any place where if – for only a moment, you are alone with God. It is THAT essential. Make an instant prayer closet in your car, in the garage, or in the tool shed. Find a trail that goes to a quiet place where nothing will interrupt your personal talk with God. To create a sacred space for a prayer meeting you need to get ALONE.
Then with your mind settled behind a locked door you are ready to speak.
Again, remember WHO you are speaking to. This is a time of reverence; you’ve just found holy ground. You have been welcomed and asked to come close to God. The Holy Spirit connects you to Him and no chat line operator will appear in a pop-up window to intercede, It’s just you and God. Keep aware and be responsible for what you pray, alert and attentive to what you are asking. Prayer can bring consequences that you WILL have to contend with. Answered prayer always requires change. Prayer is to be taken seriously, which is why many pray with their heads down and bodies prostate. It is because they are aware of being in the presence of immeasurable holiness. These prayer warriors only allow God to lift up their heads.[ Now back to being in the public restroom with the door locked and praying on the tiles.
This, of course is done with a necessary pile of paper towels acting as a sanitary buffer between your knees and a cold, bio hazard-certified floor. Praise God for paper towels! ]
I mentioned at the start of this note that ‘we must be mindful when asking things of God’. This because a prayer spoken from a true and contrite heart, from one of His own flock – is going to be heard. It WILL be answered. The answer may not be to your liking or in the way you had it all figured out, but all prayers are taken and answered AS GOD WILLS.
Weigh what you pray BEFORE giving it to Him. Remember: if you ask of God, He will ask of you.