“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NIV
Years ago, I found myself becoming an advocate for prayer. I defended, promoted and encouraged others to pray. I chose this path not because I felt I possessed some new wisdom that needed to be shared. I noticed as I prayeda change was coming over me. Before I truly understood the value of prayer I found I was desperate for God and sensed prayer was the gateway to Him. I wasn’t hoping to acquire His presence in my life because I already believed that God was always with me and the that Holy Spirit accompanied me everywhere I went. I knew He already existed in my life and this desperate need for Him flowed from already having a relationship with Him, but I wanted more.
God didn’t need my endorsement of prayer. His Word contains the names and stories of many who were affected because they spoke and listened to Him. God knew prayer would strengthen the bond between Him and His creation and He had been waiting for meand is waiting for you, to realize this. As my Father, He wanted to listen to me and as His child, He wanted me to listen for Him. I use todo a lot of talking to God but very little listening. I somehow developed a one-sided relationship where I offered Him ideas on how He could help me. I had been praying hoping to get Him to align withmy thinking. I also felt, that in return, I needed to show Him my gratitude by engaging in activities I felt would please Him; activities that unfortunately I felt He’d buy into because I thought they were needed. God has prepared good works for us to do (Ephesians 2:10) and these activities were good and in my eyes were God ordained. But as I was growing desperate, I began to wonder if I was doing things that made me feel good and passing it off as God’s work.
What’s the difference? Sometimes we engage in conversation about our choices under the guise of seeking guidance when in fact, we don’t want to hear what is being said. We really want that person listening to us to corroborate our choice. Many do this with God. Many think they have accepted God’s call to join Him but often feel ineffective and don’t know why. Is it because we sometimes pick and choosewhere we want to serve and then talk to God as it were His idea? Or maybe we even put off any service until we feel we are ready, again, telling God that when we get our act together, we’ll join Him.
Followers of Christ are called to take the Gospel to the world. We can do this as missionaries on foreign soils, as pastors or priests, as Sunday school teachers or members or praise teams. Many forget that ALL are called. Even those with families and friends and workcolleagues can be on mission with God and can bring the light of truth as they venture into the world every day. I accepted the call but forgot it was His mission I was on and not the other way around, God being on mission with me. I prayed so I’d have the strengthforgetting my strength would come from my relationship with God who would invite and empower me to do His will.
Are you desperate for more of God? Do you talk toHim about His mission to bring the truth to the world? Do you try to listen and respond? This month’s prayer Shield could help stimulate your relationship with God. As you speak to Him about His people, His mission, and His love for the military, enter this conversation trusting He is just as concerned about your relationship with Him as He is with those who don’t know Him.Enter believing He wants a Father/child relationship for both of you and that prayer is a catalyst to a strong bond. Focus on God as He focuses on you and become desperate for more. Pray seeking God’s will for our military family, not just your desires for them, and then listen to what He is telling you.