Many years ago, God opened my eyes to the fact that my relationship with him needed to improve – I was treating him a lot like Santa Claus. I would create a long prayer list of things for myself and others. Then I would metaphorically climb into his lap, fold my hands, shut my eyes and start down my list of ‘wants’.
After I was done, I would jump down from his lap and go on my way – expecting that he’d give me what I asked for. If he didn’t, I’d add it to my list again and repeat myself – telling God what I wanted to happen. If it still didn’t happen, I would feel some frustration starting – why weren’t these things happening?
Jeremiah talks to us about Judah mistreating their relationship with God in his second chapter. He tells Judah that they have turned their backs on God. But, when they are in trouble, they call on him to save them. Jeremiah asks them why they don’t call out for help to the gods they serve every day – the gods they obviously worship?
For us, these false gods could be a variety of things – money, success, relationships – whatever we spend most of our time and money on. Jeremiah tells us that – if these are our gods, why don’t we go to them when we have a need? And stop blaming the True God when we don’t get what we want.
I am so grateful that God opened my eyes to how I was treating him like Santa Claus. I said I loved him – is this how I showed him that? Is this how I wanted my relationship with him to be?
I decided to always start my prayers with thanking God and that has helped me grow a more loving relationship with him. It reminds me of his years and years of faithfulness to me and I am reassured that everything in the future is also in his hands. I can trust him. Most of my requests now center around asking for God’s will in situations. He wants the best for us and that’s what I want as well. So that’s what I ask for.
Yes, God also tells us to pray specifically. I love, love the example of the persistent widow and that’s my ‘go to’ process when something big is going down. Even when I pray for specific things, I will add ‘your will be done’. Because that’s what I really want.
And, when we pray for what is in God’s will, it always happens.
We can avoid all the worry and stress – God’s got this!
Thank you, dear Father!