Prayer… or praise… (part 2)
Pray or Give Thanks? What are we doing?
In part one, we talked about prayer that doesn’t lead to anything. Quite a tough topic, but while we’re on the subject of prayer… let’s go a little deeper into it. Do we pray to a holy God to bring Him glory for what He has already done for us? Or is it complaining? And what are we complaining about, to be honest?
And I catch myself doing it every time… what is it all about??? Just a little prayer from my past:
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
May God guard me through the night,
And wake me with the morning’s light. Amen.
Read carefully what it says… is there a thank-you in it for everything “the Lord” has already done for you? He died for you… you could say, “thank you”. But no… more, more, more and no thanks in this “prayer”.
The Lord has already blessed me, more than I deserve, He is near to me even though I messed things up badly…(something with an apple) He already has my soul, He guarded me last night! But no… I look like a toddler. More, more, more… and a “Thank You”? Nope. Even today…
Has anyone else noticed that a lot of the worship songs we sing are more focused on us than God?
Don’t get me wrong, I think that they definitely have a place in the worship, but I, personally, don’t feel that there are enough songs that focus solely on God. Just for fun, listen to this… and be ashamed… are we really doing better in our church? Do we?
At first glance they seem right… but please(!) have a second look… do we say thanks for what He did, or are we asking for more, more, more….??? Are some songs even biblical? Are they? Are we there for God, or for the “vibe”?
And that reminded me of my old uncle Jan, who prayed the following (Dutch) prayer every time before dinner:
O Lord, we thank Thee heartily for need and for abundance. Where many man eats the bread of sorrow, Thou hast fed us generously. But let not our souls cling to this fleeting life, But do all that Thou commandest, and live with until the very end. (translated from Dutch)
Wow… way to go uncle Jan!
Do you see the difference with the previous prayer? One prayer points to me. I want more, even more. And the other “prayer”? It says thank You. Don’t focus on me, but on God. For all that He has already done…
And then we come to the last verse for today:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice + Pray. Not just pray. And….Always!
And yes, God clearly asks that you make all your needs known to Him… but is the balance still there in your prayer? If there really is something, God LOVES to know about it. If you really need His help, pray! A LOT!
But what percentage is prayer, and how much is praise and thanksgiving? Aren’t we too often a toddler who wants more, more, more? Is our balance still correct? Mhhh…. Maybe it’s time for a new bumper sticker:
And for you as a reader?
Perhaps you are having a VERY difficult time right now… and moving on is difficult… almost impossible…
Perhaps you’re doing well, and you see someone else who can’t move because of all those difficulties.
Pray! Now! Pray your socks off…. and help that other person further so that they too can move again… to a beautiful future, without pain, a wonderful future that we have received from Our Father. Glory be to God for all that He has given you, no matter how difficult it may be. Move or help another person in need move, go on a journey… with God. To him be the honor!! And maybe we should do that more often: praise! Probably more than we do right now….
Just some food for thought…