A day without anything on the schedule is rare for me – even in retirement. Today was one of those days. The Grands are loving on their other grandparents. Daughter and husband are enjoying being hosts. So I putzed in the garden, worked on dad’s memory book of artifacts and pictures, read a little, worked a jigsaw puzzle, read a little more, planned a trip to Boston to see an old friend, mapped out a tentative trip to OH/MI, and finally decided to get a family doctor…are you bored yet? But through it all, found an hour to spend reading the WORD – which I sorely needed.
After that I spent some time reading “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. It makes me think about how I pray. It is easy to say the words – “I’ll pray for you…I’m praying for you..You’re in my prayers…” and then follow through by writing it down in my prayer journal and saying a small prayer at some point during the day. A vague prayer spoken in response to someone’s need. Does God listen and answer vague prayers? I’ve been thinking about this all weekend.
I decided that I think He does…especially when it concerns someone else’s needs. He knows that we don’t know the specifics in those cases, but He honors the love being shown to His children by listening and honoring even our short prayers. However – Batterson makes the point that Jesus stressed being being specific when we come before Him in prayer for ourselves.
“As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”
Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.” Matt 20:29-34
He knew they wanted to be healed so that they could see, and yet – He asked them, “What do you want me to do for you?”
Batterson states: “Well-developed faith results in well-defined prayers, and well-defined prayers result in a well-lived life.” p25
I don’t know about you – but when it comes to answering Christ’s question -“What do you want me to do for you?” – I am not so well-defined. I stutter. I croak. I cringe. But over the past few days – I’m trying to find the words. I’m trying to “spell” them out in a more definitive way because that is how faith grows. If I have faith enough to trust My Father to approach Him in prayer, I should have faith enough to be specific. Get logic out of the way. Get the “reasonable” words out of the way. I don’t have to “justify” His potential answers. Just lay it before Him and KNOW that while His answers may NOT be my answers – His answers are ALWAYS the BEST answers.
I love it when My Father allows me to catch a glimpse – out of the corner of my eye – of a shard of truth. I continue to pick them up whenever I am blessed to find them – and the amazing thing is – they fit together so perfectly that they are no longer individual broken pieces. They have just become a more beautiful shard – still small – still incomplete – but growing larger and larger as my faith grows.
“Often during a busy day
I pause for a minute to silently pray.
I mention the names of those I love
And treasured friends I am fondest of —-
For it doesn’t matter where we pray
If we honestly mean the words we say,
For God is always listening to hear
The prayers that are made by a heart that’s sincere.” Helen Steiner Rice