And What it Reveals about our Hearts
For the past few years, I’ve kept a prayer journal of prayer requests that I pray for, well, pretty infrequently. I don’t have a particular day of the week when I pray through them, nor do I choose one request to pray for on each day of the month. There’s really no method to my madness; I just pray for them whenever I decide to pray for them.
But earlier this year, I was convicted to pray more faithfully for the things that really matter to me. One of the things that matter most to me is my book, I’ve spent many hours worrying about how to spread the word and, have given a lot of effort to find opportunities to talk about this book (through podcast opportunities, speaking opportunities, and writing opportunities).
I had a prayer request in my prayer journal (yes, my randomly perused prayer journal) asking God to open promotional doors for my book. I knew that I needed Him to move in mighty ways if people were going to even learn that my book existed, let alone read it. But to be honest, I didn’t prioritize this request nearly enough. It was almost like a “backburner prayer request” that was important to me but obviously not important enough for consistent or persistent prayer.
But that changed in 2023. Instead of just praying for promotional opportunities for my book when I felt like it, I decided that I wanted to be more intentional. I wrote a sticky note in my journal that I use for my quiet time, and I committed to praying for it daily.
And then I watched God work in unexpected, extraordinary ways.
I don’t have enough space in this post to detail every way that He has worked and is continuing to work in this area of my life. I’ll just say that I got responses—positive responses—from people and organizations that I did not expect a response from. I know why I’ve gotten so many responses, and it’s not because my book suddenly intrigues people; it’s because God is working.
I firmly believe that prayer is not a formula. Praying more about something doesn’t automatically mean that God will provide it (or provide more of it). But I also firmly believe that God wants us to be persistent in prayer. He wants us to come to Him about everything, whether His answer is “yes”, “no” or “not yet”. And we can start by persistently asking Him for the things that matter most to us.
Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:5-12 NASB1995)
My dad once told me that when we choose not to pray for something, we’re essentially telling God that we don’t think He’s capable of meeting that need or desire. However, when we make the intentional decision to pray for something that matters greatly to us (especially when we pray for it persistently), it demonstrates our trust in God and our faith in Him to provide.
Wholehearted Friends, if there’s something important to you that has become a “backburner prayer request,” I encourage you to change your perspective on prayer. Jesus told His disciples to ask, seek, and knock. He wants us to do the same–not because He guarantees that we’ll get everything that we want exactly how and when we want it but because He wants us to be people who persistently go to Him with all our desires and needs because we fully trust Him.
|Grace McCready enjoys spending time with her family, hanging out with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows. She is the author of Real Recovery: What Eating Disorder Recovery Actually Looks Like. She shares personal stories and Scripture to encourage young women on her blog, Tizzie's Tidbits of Truth.|