Years ago I read a story about about a happily married lady who said “I’m really glad that God doesn’t always say ‘Yes’ to my prayers. Otherwise I would have been married to the wrong man for the past twenty five years.”
When we pray most of us want God to give us definite answers – usually yes to requests. Prayer is in danger of becoming a shopping list. But making requests should only be a small part of our prayers. Prayer is about a relationship. It is about getting close to God, of being in His presence, of learning more about Him.
Twice I have prayed and told God that I wasn’t prepared to do something. The first was after a spell as a student in Manchester. I thought it was a terrible place, even though I was born in a large city, and told God very firmly that I wasn’t going back there.
The second time was after reading a missionary book about China.
’Not there Lord. I couldn’t manage the language.’
God has a sense of humour I think that we don’t always realise. He sent me to the Himalayas, which is where I met my husband. Not China, but you could see Chinese mountains out of the window! Manchester – well I live in Stockport, Cheshire. The centre of Manchester is about 8 miles away, the boundary about 2 miles from here. So you see I am quite careful about what I pray.
I still make requests of course, both for myself and for others, but I try to make sure that I spend time just being with my God.
Different people have different ways of going about this. I find walking helps. Time to think and time to listen. At the kitchen sink too. Our kitchen is on the first floor so I get a good view of the neighbourhood. Plenty to pray about there. My husband prefers to spend time in his room. For him it is a regular pattern, a particular time of day. For me it’s not so regular, perhaps because my day is more flexible than his.
Victor Hugo said’ ‘There are thought which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees’ ‘Les Miserables’ 1862
Prayer. Lord as I come into your presence help me to pray as I ought to pray. As I grow to know you better Lord let me come so close to you that I know what you would have me say. Lord there are times when prayer is difficult. Times when I just don’t know what to pray. When those days come Lord help me to just rejoice in your presence, your power and your love. And Lord whenever I pray, whatever and however I pray thank You that You are always there and always loving me. Amen