by A.C. Williams @Free2BFearless
Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your kingdom come soon. May your will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13 NLT
What have you asked God for recently? What prayers have you laid at His throne? In a year like 2020, it could be anything. Maybe you’ve found yourself pleading for the barest essentials. I have. But Jesus isn’t a genie in the sky, no matter how often I treat Him that way.
How often do I jump into praying with my requests first? How often do I start by asking Him for something? Granted, He wants us to ask Him for what we need, but when was the last time I took time to thank Him for all the good He’s done in my life?
Because He has done good things. Even in this horrific year of upheaval and turmoil, God is at work in mighty, impossible ways in my life and in yours. Maybe He has showed up in our lives in ways that we didn’t expect (or ask for), but do we even understand how amazing it is that He would speak to us at all? That He would guide us? That He would provide for us?
He made the universe. He made everything. He made the air you’re breathing and the lungs you’re breathing with. He made the brain you’re using to read this article. He made the suns we can see and the ones we can’t.
Almighty. All-powerful. Everlasting. The Self-Sustaining One. God.
And yesterday I came at Him in despair because my utility bill was more than I expected it to be. Last week I threw myself at His feet in discouragement because I had to pay for new tires. Last month I felt alone and abandoned because I didn’t get my way in something.
Do I even know who I’m talking to? Do any of us?
The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 is so much more than a lovely set of poetic verses that are pleasing to recite. That’s fine I suppose, but it’s not intended as liturgy. It’s a pattern. It’s a guide for how we should pray.
Read it that way, and you’ll see that asking for what we need doesn’t even show up until the prayer is almost over. It begins with praise. It starts with recognizing who God is, that He knows best, and expressing a desire to see the values and characteristics of His kingdom come to pass in our broken world.
How many of us pray like that? Maybe we should start.
The next time you pray, begin with telling God how wonderful He is. Begin by acknowledging His work in your life. Thank Him. Be specific. If you have to make a list of all that He has done for you, even better. Once you start making a list of blessings, you won’t be able to stop.
It will change your perspective. It will change your heart. And by the time you even get to where you’re asking for your daily bread, you won’t even be thinking about what you need. You’ll be overwhelmed with what you already have in Him.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: A.C. Williams is a coffee-drinking, sushi-eating, story-telling nerd who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if isn’t, her socks will never match. She likes her road trips with rock music, her superheroes with snark, and her blankets extra fuzzy, but her first love is stories and the authors who are passionate about telling them. Learn more about her book coaching services and follow her adventures on social media @free2bfearless or on her website, www.amycwilliams.com.
Join the conversation: For what are you grateful for today?