What would happen if you decided that for one day (or one week? if your brave) you were only going to converse w/ God in praise and thanksgiving. No requests....of any kind....period. Could you do it? I will confess, the first time I was presented with this challenge I felt panic! "But what if I can't pray for Billy's protection on his way to work and he gets hit by a car?" "But what if one of the kids starts running a fever?" "But I'm pregnant (it wasn't this time around though) and what if I forget to pray that the baby will be physically whole?" What if!?
"Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one."
I noticed that there are no requests for anything physical with the exception of daily bread....and how often did Jesus refer to bread as the kind for our physical well being? Just a thought.
That is what sent me on a search about what prayer is really for. That is when I realized how I saw prayer as a form of control. "I realize that God may not answer the way I want, but at least I prayed for it." For me, that was me trying to control.
Control (other than self control) has no place in relationship, in faith, in love.
It has been hard. But boy has it strengthened my faith. I still ask for things, but it has drastically changed what they are and it has turned my prayer life into something so much richer than it had ever been.
Maybe it's just me (very likely) but I wonder if I'm the only one who would feel panic at that challenge. If you do...then maybe you should consider trying it. He is such a big God...