Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 12.19.13

Lord, hear my voice. Be kind and answer me. My heart told me to come to you, Lord, so I am coming to ask for your help. Don’t turn away from me. Don’t be angry with your servant. You are the only one who can help me. My God, don’t leave me all alone. You are my Savior. Even if my mother and father leave me, the Lord will take me in.
 Psalms 27:7-10 ERV
 Father slow me down so that I take the time after I pray to wait for Your answer.
 At church on Sunday, the pastor said something that hit home with me. He said that many of us say a prayer and then rush off into our day, then wonder why our prayers were ‘never answered’. He said that we must sit, wait, listen, and watch for God’s answer. God may present our blessing in a unique way. He also may not give us what we are asking for, but He may present something else for us. Additionally, sometimes the prayer that you thought was never answered, actually was, but you were so consumed in your drama you just didn’t realize it.
 “Prayer isn’t supposed to be (just about) us asking God to do something for us, it’s supposed to be our conversation with Him. But many of us think that all we have to do is put in a request, walk away, and then get what we want. It doesn’t work that way,” the pastor said.
 How many of you have a similar relationship with God?
 How many of you say a prayer for healing or relief from familial or societal pressures, and after saying the prayer you simply walk away ‘leaving it to God’, expect an immediate resolution to the situation, or ask for a ‘sign’? This can’t be a one-sided relationship.
 It reminds me of the story of the man lost at sea, holding on for dear life to a piece of wood (or some other item) and fearing drowning, he prays to God to rescue him. Various birds, sea creatures and sea mammals came to him to help but each time he said, “No, God will rescue me”. The man drowned and passed away and when he went to heaven he questioned God and asked why He didn’t answer his prayers and pleas. God said, (and please remember that I’m paraphrasing this fable) “I did. I sent birds and other animals to rescue you and you refused their help…”
 How many ‘signs’ did he need? How many instances did he turn down rescue attempts because in his mind he expected some grandiose rescue by God. I don’t know about you, but a bird or whale coming to rescue me is pretty grand!
 When you read the Bible and you read of the numerous men and women who prayed and had conversations with God, you will notice that none of these moments were rushed, and in every instance, the person involved was committed to their talks with Him.
 I recall a story my father told me of a woman his family knew (or knew of) who was committed to a mental hospital because neighbors had witnessed her talking ‘with God’ as she sat in her backyard each day. This woman was speaking aloud in prayer and speaking to God about whatever struggles or blessings she was experiencing, and was deemed mentally ill and institutionalized. She was spending time with our Heavenly Father, as we all should, and she was punished by man for it. This explains why many people pray silently.
 It doesn’t matter if we pray aloud or silently. What does matter is our intent, expectations, and our involvement in prayer. When we pray we must wait and watch for God’s answer. We must remember that prayer isn’t a vending machine that you simply invest a little time and expect a large payoff, nor should we expect immediate results. Sometimes it is delayed, and sometimes it comes a different way than what we expected. But we have to be present spiritually, mentally, and physically to receive it.
 Lovingly your sister in Christ,
 Copyright 2013. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted.

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