2 Samuel 24:25 David built an altar there to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings and peace offerings. And the Lord answered his prayer for the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.
So, is praying a waste of time? Based on that verse I would have to say that praying is certainly not a waste of time? You may feel differently. I used to think it was a waste of time. I mean, if we pray asking for healing, but then add “your will be done.” Are we wasting our breath? Not if we take a look at how Jesus prayed. Moments before his capture, torture and crucifixion, Jesus prayed, asking God to “take this cup from me” or in Frank speak – “Dad, can you get me out of this one?” Jesus, knew the answer before the words left his lips. But throughout his ministry, Jesus spent a great deal of time in prayer.
There was a time in my life, before I got serious about faith and a relationship with God, when I had only 3 prayers.
“God get me out of this one.” “God, let me win the lottery and I promise to pay back all my debts before I start partying.” “And Lord, please let this woman be as lonely as I am tonight.” That was it. Gee, I wonder why none of those prayers were answered. Well , actually they were all answered. And God’s answer was – “NO!” “Thank you Lord. Thank you for saving me from myself.”
All prayers are answered – but self-serving prayers are almost always answered with the word, NO!
So then why should we waste our time praying? Well we shouldn’t if all our prayers consist of is a galactic to-do list for God.
God, make me rich.
God, make this person love me.
God, get me this promotion so I can fire all the people I don’t like.
God, make my spouse subservient to all my demands.
God, help me to get back at my Ex.
God, I want a sunny day for my birthday party.
And on it goes. Me, me ,me.
I admit, that was my type of prayer list for years. And I wondered why, I wasn’t getting any favorable responses. Worse, my lifes’ trials and tribulations seemed to grow harder the longer my selfish prayer list became. Then one day, I asked the right question in prayer.
God, why am I so unhappy with life?
Then came the right answer. “Frank, the reason you’re so unhappy is because your prayers and therefore your life are all about you. You’re prayers and your life should be about Me. Not, Me personally. I am God, I have everything I want except, I don’t have you. I have a plan for your life and you’re not working it. I have gifts for you, you are not mature enough to appreciate. I have a mission for you, you are not strong enough to carryout.”
That conversation between me and God went on for years. Decades, actually. I remained basically miserable. I could see happiness in others and I was jealous. Why them and not me, God? When will I get my share? Then, I thought I heard a voice say – “You will get your share as soon as you give your share.”
I pondered that statement. And as I pondered – my misery and unhappiness dragged on. More weeks and months went by. Finally, I decided to have another talk with God.
“Look, you’ve got the wrong guy. I can’t carry out the mission or ministry you have set out for me. I don’t deserve any gifts. And, this plan of yours – Well, it’s not for me.”
Frank. Frank. Frank. Oh, ye of little faith. I can wait. I’ve got all eternity to wait. Do you?
I admitted to myself I didn’t. God had me right where He wanted me. I was at the end of my misguided journey with nowhere to turn except to Him. So, facing either a life of misery or putting my trust and life in God’s hands and not knowing what would happen, I did what any self-respecting man would do. I caved. I gave in.
“Okay, you’ve won me over. I’m all yours. I’m all in on your plan. You now have my full attention.”
The result – is this blog. Further plans include maybe 2 or 3 books.
Me? A writer? Like I said, you’ve got the wrong guy. But, Frank you now have the right Guy. You do the work. Let me worry about the results.
So I write and I create these blogs posts and podcasts and whether they touch anyone or not isn’t up to me. Whether I write well or not, isn’t the point. The point is that, I’m working God’s plan and not my own.
But maybe the real point is God brought you here today to read or listen to His words through me to call out to you. To invite you to join God’s team and work His plan. To accept His love. Just know this… When you join God’s team there’s no pay. There’s no glory. And you’re on call 24/7. There’s only one benefit. An incredible assurance plan. Eternal life through Jesus Christ. Oh, I almost forgot – there’s one more benefit. The joy of a life lived God’s way. It’s working for me. It can work for you, too. So is praying a waste of time? Maybe you should pray about that…
Today’s Song: “Won Me Over” – Audrey Assad.