This week I have been challenged by God in a number of different circumstances not to moan my prayers!
If you don’t know where I am coming from, let me give you a quick example. Your roof starts leaking rainwater… and your first thought is, “Oh no! Not another thing to go wrong in the house!” Then you find yourself listing the last 10 things that broke or annoyed you about your home. You remember that the dishwasher didn’t empty a week last Thursday, that the spindle broke on the stairs when you carried that massive pile of washing… that the Yaris needed a new tyre. Before you know it, you have created a ‘thought spiral of doom’. And crucially you have yet to actually pray!
This is often me. This is what I so regularly do.
I kind of moan or groan into the atmosphere – but I don’t always remember to praise, or pray or intercede about it.
I know God hears those kinds of grumpy me-centred prayers, but they couldn’t exactly be termed “faith-filled.” They are more the ‘shopping list of things that are bugging me’ kind.
This week, God has challenged me to start speaking out the cries of my heart, whether that be for myself, or for my team, or my friends, or for my kids. I am trying to be very specific.
Storytime? OK then.
This week I tried to play my piano. It’s an old clavinova and a good number of the keys have unkindly welded themselves down and can no longer be played. SAD TIMES. Trying to sing and play a song was hard work and left me feeling cross and frustrated.
So I came into the kitchen and asked my husband for a new (secondhand) one for my birthday.
Now, piano’s are pricy, as we know. So, my sensible-hearted, excellent-steward- of- all- money-ever Hancock Jon asked how I felt about that piano also being my Christmas present, my easter present, my present for mothers day, purim, hannukah etc etc.
I went quiet.
I do want a piano. And I was willing to have it in this way.
But, part of me felt a bit hard done by. I was kind of thinking, “but I would love a piano NOW!”
Later that day I was due to go to a meeting. I found myself thinking about the piano situation in the car.
Rather than moaning that my piano was completely broken unable to be mended, I felt challenged by God to ask HIM OUT LOUD for a new one. So in the car, I spoke out these words, “God, I am believing you for a new piano, so that I can fill my house with worship again.”
Three hours later I was chatting to Lizzy, one of my best friends, and she began to pray for me. At the end of the prayer time, which was a big blessing in itself, I said, “Oh one more thing, I feel I need to speak this out. I’m believing God for a new piano.”
She giggled and laughed.
“What?” I said.
“We have a piano at church, she said. Just yesterday I said to our Ops Manager that we needed to find a home for it. So… it’s YOURS!”
Now all this struck me as rather amazing. Not just because I got given a piano on the same day that I asked for it, but the WAY in which God blessed me with it.
I have wanted a piano for about two years, but this week was the first time I had prayed about it. It was the first day I had spoken out that I was ‘believing God for it.”
I think that made so much difference – not just to me, but to Lizzy and to everyone in our family.
Speaking out what we are asking God for, not just prayer-groaning or moaning is something I need to get MUCH better at. But I am willing to try.
Let me encourage you to have a go too. Lets see what God is wanting to do in us this next week, shall we?