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.’
Please join me at ArabahJoy.com today to read more about this important shift in my prayer time and how it could serve you as well!
I love this. God put this on my heart too Candace. To be a hearer of his words, so I can be a doer. Amen. Loved it.
I love this, Kelly: “To be a hearer of his words, so I can be a doer.” Far too many times I’ve been a doer without listening to Him first. Those activities rarely ended well ;).
I love you friend and all that the Lord is leading you to do!
I love you dearly, Donna. You have been such a shining example for me in the art of listening to Him, my friend. Thank you!
I’m working on this as well. Less me and more Him. The trick for me is to discipline my mind to stay in prayer instead of wool-gathering mode and list-making!
List making is a serious issue for me as well, Michele. I can completely relate. I’m working hard on shifting away from that mindset but it’s a hard habit to break. “Less me and more Him.” Amen :).
I must work on listening more than talking. Really bad habit on my part. Its been a stressful last few weeks and I’ve been doing some powerful praying and life is good. I’m always so happy to get your emails to read your adventures with God.
I’m sorry you’ve had some stressful weeks, Tammy. Turning to prayer is the way to go as you have so wisely done. This is a habit I’m still working on. It’s amazing how often I forget to go to Him in those tough moments when I know that is the only place I should be. I’m glad life is good for you again, my friend :).
Oh my soul! I am SO happy to have found you today through Arabah Joy! To say I resonate with what you said would be an understatement. It is by NO accident that God has led me to your blog today! Very recently, He has called me out of the traditional workforce and also placed a calling on my heart to encourage and lift others up by starting a blog ministry. AND, it just so happens that I am currently in my own battle with SUGAR addiction! Ugh, that stuff! I absolutely LOVED what you said about how conquering it is empowering. That is a great perspective, and one I will now adopt! Thank you for being brave enough to be transparent with your food addiction and also for your obedience to His calling for your life. For it has greatly impacted mine today. Gratefully, BJ~
It’s so nice to meet you, BJ! It sounds like we are on very similar journeys and I’m thrilled to connect. I’m sorry for my delayed response. It’s been a crazy few days :). I can’t wait to see your new blog and am so excited for you. It’s a lot of work but so worth it. Let me know when you get set up! I would love to check it out. Keep in touch, new friend. I look forward to walking alongside you :).
I think most of us start out like that using prayer as a wish list 🙂 Heading over to read your post.
Can’t wait to read this, Candace! Off I go!
Needed to read this today. Thanks Candace, beautifully written. You’re the best!
Hi Mary! I’m so glad this could help you, my friend. It’s always great to see you :).
I am stuck on the question at the end. I want to say I am listening and doing it well but if I am honest that is not the truth. I’m in this place of wanting some specific things from God and being selfish, I want them now. God does not work that way and I know that in my heart but my head says “ask anyway”.
Your words were the perfect reminder that God’s timing is always right on time and I need to wait and listen with patience. Beautiful words!
I think it’s natural to want to ask for specific things, Mary. I love that God allows us to do this as well. He may not always say yes, but He patiently listens :). His gifts and timing are perfect. We just need to remember that, my friend.
Thank you, Candace. I have to keep reminding myself of this. But sometimes when I ask God what He wants me to hear and then quietly wait, my mind starts getting distracted with other things that buzz around in my head or I find myself back to talking to Him without allowing Him to get a word in edgewise. 🙁 I’m so glad He is so full of grace and patience! Blessings and hugs to you!
I’m so thankful for His grace and patience too, Trudy! I require them both often :). Distraction is an ongoing issue with me as well. I can completely relate, my friend.
That’s the area I need more practice on. The listening part.
Me too, Lux! I’m definitely a work in progress :).
Candace, thank you so much for sharing your words and your heart. I started reading this post on Arabah Joy and thought, wow-she’s writing about my transforming prayer life, then you stared talking about your weight struggles, and I GASPED! I’ve also been dealing with both theses issues for so long. It’s nice to know I’m in good company. I recently did an online bible study through Proverbs 31, and realized that God can do all things, and nothing is too small for Him to care about. So I made a decision to hand over my weight concerns to Him. Thank you again so much, can’t wait to read more from you.
It’s so nice to meet you, Jen! Health struggles have been my long standing nemesis. I’m always happy to meet another sister to walk this journey with. We can do this through Him! I’m looking forward to getting to know you better :).
What a great point to remember!
I’m hoping this becomes more of an automatic habit for me, Akaleistar. I’m still working on it :).
Dr. Diana Hardy
You are at a right spiritual path. But it needs a lots of hard work to listen our father’s words. I just love it.
Thank you, Dr. Diana! I completely agree with you. It takes hard work, but it is so worth it :).