I just finished the book Forgotten God by Francis Chan this morning. It was an excellent book about the Holy Spirit. At the end of the book, Francis Chan writes a prayer that stood out to me. It wasn’t anything grand or abnormal necessarily, but it stood out all the same. Here is a small sampling:
We need Your wisdom and understanding as we seek to live this life.
Keep us from disbelief, from fear.
We need Your strength to help us do what you are asking us to do
and to live how You are asking us to live.
Like I said, nothing profound here except when you compare it to the way I have found myself praying. My prayer list looks more like a shopping list.
God, watch over us tonight and keep us safe.
Help us to have a good night sleep so we can be ready for a great day tomorrow.
Help us to live out this or that part of life.
Be with dad tomorrow as he goes to work.
There are two things that struck me as I read through Francis Chan’s prayer verses a normal evening prayer with my kids. First, I’m asking God for very general things to happen in my life that will help me. I want to sleep good so that I can have a good day. I pray for my safety. Nothing that I prayed was about the real mission we have as Christians, but rather a more comfortable life for me. What do I really need? God’s wisdom, understanding, belief, and strength. Why do I need these things? When these are present in my life, I am able to live my life ready to do as God showed us in the Bible through the life of Jesus and as the Holy Spirit prompts me today.
The second piece that struck me was that I was asking God to help us. Help us to do this, help us to do that. Really? I don’t need God to come into my life and simply help my human efforts. I need HIS wisdom, not mine. My prayer should be, “God, give me your thoughts. You are wiser than any human and I want to think as you do.” I’ve been praying wimpy prayers! There is no way my strength is enough. When I operating under my own strength, I simply cannot out lift God. He is stronger. God, may we operate in Your strength.
God, forgive me for my wimpy prayers and show me your ways. May I live in your strength and wisdom so that when people see me, they know YOU. Amen