Devotional Thoughts: Prayer

Some seasons of life are harder than others. I find myself praying  more in the difficult times. When I engage in prayer in those hard times I am on guard watching and waiting for change, healing or whatever I’m praying for. After releasing my petitions before God I often find myself expressing gratitude just like the Psalmist does as each Psalm, especially the laments, have what’s called a vav adversitive. It’s a tiny word that acts like a hinge. Psalmists cry out to God with many serious problems. They write many verses of pain, sorrow, fear and frightening things. After this is expressed to God the tone changes and flows into gratitude.

Prayer that ends with thanksgiving brings me into another realm, another mindset, another place emotionally than I was before I prayed. Prayer changes me.

If we are praying steadfastly as this verse says this means we have no need of gossip or burdening others with what we should take to God first. Laments, expressing our deepest hurts, are meant for God first. Those who practice this discipline probably won’t feel a need to talk to 100 other people about it. God can meet our needs. Humans aren’t meant to be our God. Going to humans first is leaving God out of the equation, seeking fulfillment and change anywhere else will disappoint and leave us lacking.

Ending in gratitude helps us focus on the positive life giving things that are essential to press on. Lord, I’m grateful for my home, my job, my calling, my husband, my children, my family. Thank You for providing for me even when I had no idea how things would happen. You are the Creator, the Sustain-er and I trust You.

Some seasons of prayer take years. Keep praying like this verse instructs. Praying isn’t just talking to God but talking with God. This requires listening too. If I’m watchful I’m looking for open doors, I’m actively, mentally engaged in seeking out what God wants from me in this circumstance. Praying without listening and without gratitude is just spewing out our grievances and pain to God. If we stop there we are missing out. We won’t ever experience what God is desiring to bless us with. Let’s pray all day in our minds as we go about our tasks, watching for what comes next and be thankful.

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