John 14: 1-14 Pray With Purpose
“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it”. John 14:14 (NIV)
Quitting smoking was something I tried to do many times. After nearly six failed attempts I finally turned to God. Isn’t that what we Christians have a habit of doing? Turning to God only after exhausting our own attempts that are flawed at best? We often forget that if we would only go to God first we would save so much time and energy.
God loves us more than we can ever imagine, but he wants us to love him and acknowledge that we need him. Like any good parent, if we call out to him he will hear our pleas, but all too often we ask without believing. We doubt that he hears us or even cares.
The night I quit smoking is a night I will never forget. I was awake late into the night unable to sleep when a very sad commercial came on TV showing the devastating reality when a parent dies from lung cancer due to smoking, leaving behind their family to pick up the pieces. I felt sick to my stomach. So what did I do? I quickly went out into the garage to have a cigarette, because my addiction told me that it was the only thing that would calm me down. Unfortunately, when I returned to my bed I was horrified to see that the same commercial was on again!
At that moment I felt as though I were trapped in a prison of my own making with no chance of escape, and that’s when I turned to him. I crept into my daughter’s bedroom where she was sound asleep; with tears pouring down my face I fell to my knees in anguish. I humbled myself before him and confessed that I did not want to quit smoking. I cried that I was ashamed that I was unable to quit even for my children. I insisted that if he did not take this burden from me than I was doomed to the same fate as the woman in that commercial. The devastating family left behind would be mine. I was not only asking God for help; I was pleading for my very life. I surrendered completely to him, and I let him know it without hesitation.
What happened next was a feeling that a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Calmness came over me that no cigarette had ever managed to bring. I felt warm and safe, unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I simply picked myself up from the floor, dried my eyes, thanked him and went back to my own room. I knew then that my prayer had been answered. I woke up the next morning a non-smoker, and have been one ever since. This January will be eight years that I have not touched a cigarette.
God is always listening, but we must pray humbly; acknowledging our need for him, and believing he hears. That’s all God really wants from us, if only we could see. He wants us to trust him completely, not just with the big things, but the little things too. Whatever our burdens maybe in life we are never alone. Our Father in heaven is watching and waiting, and wanting only the best for his children who love him.
Prayer: Please Lord Jesus; help me to pray with a humble and believing heart. Amen.