Sometimes I pray like I’m giving my order at a fast food restaurant. “I’d like a good grade on my daughter’s test, healing for a sick friend, and an extra order of joy and strength just to make it through the day, please.” I might as well be standing in line at McDonalds with a list of things I hope God will do for me.
Prayer grows tedious (and boring!) when I look at it as a To-Do List for God. I pray for item after item on my list, but I’m not sure I’m getting answers. Discouragement sets in. Does this really work?
Prayer is more than handing God a To-Do list. Prayer invites more of Him into our lives.
Hebrews 4:6 offers an invitation and a promise:
God invites us in. We have free access to Him, thanks to the blood of Christ. He promises the gift of mercy, no matter how much we’ve messed up. He’ll grant us all the grace we need. Who doesn’t need that? Who doesn’t need more of God?
What if we looked at prayer as a way to invite more of God into our lives?
Here are 3 more ways to make prayer more than a takeout order.
Pray for More of God
When was the last time you prayed earnestly for God to reveal more of Himself to you? Let’s lean in closer and ask Him to pour more of His Spirit over us, to show us more of His love, and to fill us with more of His joy, grace, wisdom, and power.
Here’s a prayer from Ephesians 1:17:
Last summer, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson challenged me to a greater vision for prayer. Beyond help to lead a Bible study or cook dinner, what do I want God to do in my life?
I prayed over several days and made a list. I want Greater Faith, Healing, Joy, Provision, Passion for Christ (for my kids), and A Life that Honors God.
What are the big things you want God to work in your life? Ask Him to show you 5-8 dreams or aspirations that you can pray over for several months or a year.
What do you want to accomplish? Make goals and bring them to God regularly. As you pray, He’ll grow your faith and give you the wisdom you need to accomplish those goals.
Pray for Growth
How do you want to grow? Ask God to help you draw nearer, remain in Him, and grow in areas where you are weak.
For several years I prayed for one fruit of the spirit each day: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and so on. I’d like to think it made a difference? (Other than the fact that all kinds of things would go wrong on Thursdays, the day I was praying for patience!)
Sometimes I pray for myself each day of the week in a different role: as a child of God, wife, mother, church planter, writer, friend, and encourager for women.
I want to look at prayer as a journey to more of God in my life, but all too easily I fall into the fast food drive-through trap. I have my “will you do?” list all ready.
Will you join me in this prayer? Lord, I want to press in for more of you. I invite you into my heart and life. Come, Lord Jesus. Fill me with your Spirit. Pour your love and mercy over me. Give me the wisdom and power I need today. In your name, Amen.