(A writing I originally typed out and on September 23rd, 2015 and then forgot about. I re-read it today and still believe every word. I still consciously pray this way leading with thankfulness)…
I asked myself the other day,
Do children ever ask for gifts they know they already have? Like, put them on their Christmas or birthday wish list?
Probably not. Unless they’re greedy little ankle biters, I bet the only reason they’d do that is ignorance. Kids, at least many American kids, are used to having so many things – games, toys and devices – that sometimes they forget what they own.
They’ll ask, but not check first – “do I have that already, in my bin?” Maybe they’ll ask for it because they never opened the first one, or used it once and then it got lost in the chaos of the bedroom.
It came to me today, we are like that. I hear and read prayers all the time, asking God for things he’s already not only already promised us, but given to us in the person of Christ or in the gift of His Spirit who came to make our heart – mind – body – his home, here on earth after Jesus ascended. So it seems to me that we HAVE what we need.
Well, I’m not sure about some tangible or material things like braces or loans paid off, but we know we have all we need pertaining life and godliness.
Peter writes just that…
God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and for godliness. This power was given to us through knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and integrity. (2 Peter 1:3 GW)
So now what? Do we sit around and get self conscious about how we’re praying? God forbid! No, I believe that a worthy response to this news of praying for what I already have would be to simply reformat most of my prayers into those of thanksgiving.
Just think it through first, do a bit of an inventory-check and you’ll find that what you’re about to ask him for – I bet you have in some form, already.
Here are some down to earth examples:
If you need to manage your anger, instead of praying, Help me not to sin when I am angry…thank him for his peace that enables you to do so.
If you lack financial provision, thank him for his promise – God you said when I seek first the Kingdom & your righteousness, ALL these things shall be added to me. (Matthew 6:31-33)
If you feel completely alone, or want to ask God for his presence, perhaps you’ve forgotten, he said he will be with you always – even til the end of the age. You can thank him instead for what he’s promised – Father God, I know you will never leave or forsake me. You’re always there. Instead of: Be with _______ (us, them, so & so), how about, “Thanks god, that there is no place your presence cannot find us. If I go to the depths even there, your love will pursue me. You draw us all to you.”
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.”
John 14:16-17 AMP
There is something powerful about the declaration of a promise and of thanksgiving. The acknowledgement of Him in all our ways – it will be the very thing that will direct our path and straighten our perspective.