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Pushing or Praying?

“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:41-42).

I often want to get my way so badly. Being an only child, getting my way came easily. My mother totally spoiled me.

The shock to my system after I got married and all of a sudden I couldn’t get my way all the time was epic. My desperation during that time was what started my prayer life. (Isn’t it interesting the things God uses to draw us to Himself?) Slowly, very slowly, I began praying sporadically, usually when I needed something, or when I was convinced I was right about something and Nicole was wrong. I was still pushing my way through life, more than praying my way through it. I was probably trying to push God to let me get my way!

In 2011, on my 39th birthday, prayer took on a different meaning when I was convinced to make Jesus the CEO of my life and seek him every day in every area of my life. I had so much to learn, and I still do, but this was a powerful step in the right direction. Praise God.

The energy I expend praying vs. pushing is finally shifting more towards praying. Pushing is hard. Pushing my agenda, beliefs, ideas, and thoughts onto someone is not only bad for relationships, it’s pointless. I’m learning more and more to turn to God in prayer, the true power. Turning to God in prayer makes pushing look like a weak alternative. I ask more questions of my friends, family, clients, and those with whom I interact – instead of telling them what I think.

Nowadays I try to only share my agenda or opinion in specific circumstances:

  1. After much prayer.
  2. When asked directly. Even then, I usually ask questions first. Jeff, my friend and mentor, modeled this for me.
  3. With those closest to me like Nicole, Luke, and close friends or family.

Thinking about this more, when I look at how Jesus interacted with those around him, I see him praying and questioning and gently teaching, never pushing at all. If I am to be like Him, I need to totally let go of the need to push, and instead pray, ask more questions, and gently teach when it’s appropriate.

I have so much work to do here. Pushing comes naturally; prayer does not.

Where are you in this journey of praying vs. pushing?

Friday Inspiration

If you pray to God regularly, irregular things will happen on a regular basis.

Mark Batterson, Draw the Circle, The 40 Day Prayer Challenge


Prayer Warrior

A few years ago I was getting my picture taken for my passport at Walgreens. I had the flu and was in a little hurry to get my picture taken and get all of the required documents back to the government to get my passport, not to mention get back in bed.

I was waiting, what I like to think patiently yet drowsy at the photo counter but no one was there. I motioned over to the employee at the check-out counter and she got on the loud speaker to have someone come and help me.

Someone responded and helped me and I was on my way back home.

When I think of a prayer warrior, I think of someone like that Walgreen’s employee at the check-out counter—someone who steps in to call for help on our behalf. This could be a parent, a spouse, a child—but it’s extra special when it is a non-family member.

One of the best ways to get unstuck in problematic areas of our life and gain freedom in Christ is to have a prayer warrior praying for you and for what God has placed on your heart.

As we know, the enemy wants to destroy the lives God created us for. We have to act wisely, deliberately, and with intense determination to fight for this abundant life.

Praying regularly is part of this, but our prayers are more powerful if we are consistently praying with a prayer warrior or prayer partner. “Truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).

Maybe this is something that is missing from our lives that can help us step boldly into the life God has created us for?

“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

Friday Inspiration

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.
Saint Augustine