When I became a Christian less than a decade ago, I viewed prayer time as a long list of needs to ask God for on a daily basis. It was basically the same type of thought process as what I created for Santa in my childhood. My God list had more wishes for other people’s needs to be met than the one I scribbled out for Santa, but the overall concept remained quite similar.
As I’ve grown in my faith and stopped seeing God as some type of heavenly ATM, my life has changed in phenomenal ways. I still spend time in prayer for friends, family, and even myself, but today I know to ask for His will to be done and the strength for each of us to deal with whatever comes our way. Not only does this show Him how much I truly trust Him, it also allows for gifts I would never have the audacity to even dream of before.
My prayer life now consists of far more listening than talking. We are given very simple instructions in this area:
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
A few years ago, in one of my many quiet times alone with God, He told me to write. Certain I wasn’t hearing this correctly, I continued to put it off. Finally during a Bible study about saying Yes to God with Proverbs 31 Ministries, I started a blog.
Writing was a dream of mine in childhood, but it had long been forgotten by the time God brought it to life. I never imagined as an adult with a degree in Computer Science and no formal writing training, He would lead me on this path. That’s how our God works, in big, beautifully surprising ways.
So, more recently when He told me to change my writing focus from DIY/crafts to health, I didn’t hesitate quite as long. As a recovering food addict still struggling in my own health journey one might find this as an odd calling, but I followed it anyway. My obedience is already being rewarded as He slowly releases the grip sugar has on me.
I begged for years for Him to take this extra weight and my food struggles from me and then I would help others. That was not His plan for me. When I closed my mouth and opened my ears, I learned it’s time for me to help others during my own journey, walking alongside rather than leading.
If we are spending too much of our intimate moments with God telling Him about our needs and desires, we miss out on all He wants for us. By opening myself up to His plans for my life rather than begging for my limiting goals, I’ve been blessed in ways I never thought possible. He knows His plans for us and they are full of hope and prosperity.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
From the verse above, we know He wants us to talk to Him as well. We don’t need to sit in silence in all of our prayer time, but when we seek Him with all of our hearts, we are open to His will above all else. This is why I choose to listen more and talk less as my faith and trust grows exponentially.
What is God calling you to do? Are you listening more then talking these days? I would love to hear how you spend your intimate moments with our amazing Creator.
Candace Playforth is a wife, mom, Jesus follower, serenity seeker, and writer on a quest for health in body, mind, and soul. Join her in creating a healthier body, emotional well-being, and unprecedented faith at CandaceCreates.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.