If I asked you, “What is the one thing you pray for the most?” or “If you examined all of your prayers, what do you ask from God the most?” The honest answer for me is strength… at least it used to be. I often feel weak, so I find I often ask for strength, but over the last few months, I've learned I've been doing this whole prayer thing wrong.
A lot of my prayers have a heart of asking… and asking isn’t bad. In fact, asking is good, and we should ask for things, and we’re supposed to ask for things but in my case, I realized I’m constantly asking for the wrong things, “Give me strength… give me comfort… give me grace… give me faith.” And maybe those aren’t necessarily the wrong things to ask for, but I could be asking for something better.
I keep asking for things I already have. I have all of them, and so much more. I have strength, the kind promised to me to make me mount up with wings like eagles. I have comfort, the kind that allows me to comfort others as I am comforted by the Spirit in me. I have grace in Christ crucified for me. I have faith in that I believe.
So why do I keep asking for those things? Sure, maybe it’s because I need more of those things, more peace, more joy, more whatever, but I think I keep asking for them because I keep forgetting that I already have them. I mean, if I had a mansion full of all good things and I could come and go from it all I wanted, and could take from it all I desired, I really don’t think I’d forget about it. I don’t think I’d go through my day barefoot, wishing I had a pair of shoes, if I remembered that I had a walk in closet full every kind of shoe I could ever dream of.
If I did a better job of knowing Christ whom I have, I'm pretty sure I’d do a better job of holding on to all the promises I have in him.
I’ve learned when I'm asking for those things already promised to me, I’m really just asking for more of Jesus. So now, instead of saying, “Father, give me an extra dose of peace today,” I've started saying, “Father, give me more of Jesus, who has reconciled my yesterday, today, and tomorrow; who has worked out all things for good, whether today or in that final day.” It kind of shifts your perspective when all you’re concerned with is more of Jesus.
Now, I’m not saying forsake your responsibility in the name of Jesus. I’m not saying, “you don’t need discipline, or self control, or gentleness… you just need Jesus.” What I’m saying is, if you seek Jesus, you’re going to get those things thrown in, but if you only seek those things, you’re going to miss Jesus and the point. So, don’t miss Jesus, cause he’s the solution to what you’re seeking. If you’re seeking encouragement, he has it. If you’re seeking restoration, he has it. If you’re seeking strength for the day… or week… or long years ahead… he has it, and if you have him, you have it. So, just go to him, spend time with him, and remember that you have what he has already given to you. Then live in that confidence... in that boldness... in that freedom.
"For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace."