Friday, April 9, 2010

praying through the unknown

I remember being a little girl and before bed I would say, "Now I lay me down to sleep." My mom taught me that prayer. So somewhere in the mix, the Lord was always with me, even when I wasn't so sure who He was, He knew exactly who this little girl was.
I have found myself in prayer crying out to Him in the midst of a storm that I have no control over. I have found myself crying so loudly, only to fall asleep in those tears on my soaked pillow.

I have thought, "Is God really hearing my prayers?" If so, why isn't He answering? I cannot measure my relationship and faith by how many prayers the Lord has answered. He has answered many, and some He is still at work in.

Remember as a kid we had those eight ball things?You could ask it a question, shake it up and there was your key to tomorrow. God isn't like that eight ball. He doesn't answer as soon as we ask, but He does have the key to tomorrow. He holds everything right there in His hands, and who better to trust than the One who really knows tomorrow?

It is through that prayer, those conversations with the Lord that I have learned patience. I have learned trust, and one thing I cling to is His hope He gives. Through prayer He knows our hearts, and we learn to know them ourselves.

Many times the very things we are praying for, those things we are wanting so much, God knows a better way. To get us to that better way, sometimes we must hear no. No is not meaning no love, but it is meaning, there is so much more. When one door closes, and another opens it is a clear view of God's handiwork.

When I was young asking my parents for something was common on the weekends, and hearing yes was the only answer I wanted to hear. I heard no many times, and I gotta tell ya, I didn't like hearing no then. I didn't understand no. Of course with that no came, "Why?" It seems with that no there is always another question to come. We can never just leave no alone. But now looking back I see those No's as great blessings. My parents knew more than me. They knew what was good for me, even though I thought I knew better. They were trying to protect me, and lead me down the right path. Isn't that exactly what the Lord is doing for us, His children?

He calls us to prayer. He even tells us to pray without ceasing. Prayer is that connection we have between our Father in heaven and us, His children. Prayer always leads us home. It leads us right where He wants us to be. Although we may not understand the "Why's, the how's or the when's, knowing He does it good enough. He is sufficient.

Just as when I was a teen, I can think my ways are better, go off on my own and make a mess of things. Then I can grow angry because things didn't work out, and through it all at His feet to fix. Ah, it doesn't work that way. When we go off on our way trying to do things the way we think they should go, He allow us to go so far, until He throws that road block up trying to grab our attention. We can either look to Him for our guidance or we can take another detour on our own. But when I take those detours, those consequences are mine to wake up to. Many times, its those very consequences that wake us up and we wipe our eyes and say, "What did I do?" Oh, how many times I have been there myself. Drowning in the self pity, and wishing with everything I had that I had just listened to Him.

Want wisdom? Listen to the Lord who knows and sees all in our pasts, our present and our future. He has the best plan for our lives. If we follow everything He has for us there is only glory for Him to follow.

Hindsight is 20/20, and too many times we don't just hold back and wait on the answer to that prayer. We go ahead and jump right in without any thought about what is to come next.

There are prayers I have been saying for years. God hears each and every one. He is answering and if I just trust and hold on to Him, there won't be any reason for a detour. Don't give up on your prayers, and on our God. He is mighty in His ways, and there is no greater love than the love our Father has for us.

Through finding patience, trust, and hope, we find our way to all the Lord desires for us. He is that light in the darkness. He is that forever north when we are lost. He is that guiding star that will never cease to brighten our path. All we must do is trust, and follow. Following Christ we will always find love.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God."
Psalm 27:14 "Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord."
Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"


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