My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you want to improve your prayer life? It is true that God doesn’t always grant what you want, but is it also true that God blesses sincere and humble prayer that addresses what your heart is longing for?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
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I loved watching football when I was a boy. I collected football cards and maintained scrapbooks with news clippings and other football related stories. I still have those scrapbooks and occasionally page through the now yellowing pages from over fifty years ago. I was doing this recently and came across an interview with the legendary coach of the Chicago Bears back in the day–George Halas. It was prior to the annual Packers-Bear game to be played in Chicago and the Milwaukee Journal was doing a human interest piece on Halas. It was short and I ran across this little tidbit from Halas, known for his direct statements. It was 1963 and the Bears had a great team. The Bear’s quarterback Billy Wade was having a career year. The reporter asked the coach why he felt Wade was doing so well? Halas responded in typical fashion, “You can achieve only that which you will do.” He had used this phrase many times in interviews. But when you think of it, it says everything about him and Wade that year. They went on to become the NFL champions and it was all because they got the ball into the endzone when they had to. The goalposts were their guide–nothing more.
The index for Halas and Wade, for that matter, was making sure that first they had the will to win, following that up with the goal of doing it. Halas put a lot of stock into planning to beat other teams by making sure he was prepared in practice to do it in the first place.
What about praying? Is it appropriate to have goals and therefore be able to index our prayers in such a manner as to become winners from a prayer perspective? Here’s a thought from Oswald Chambers: “The illustration of prayer that our Lord uses here (cf. Matthew 7:9– ‘Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will given him a stone?’) is that of a good child asking for a good thing. We talk about prayer as if God heard us irrespective of the fact of our relationship to Him (cf. Matthew 5:45). Never say it is not God’s will to give you what you ask, don’t sit down and faint, but find out the reason, turn up the index. Are you rightly related to your wife, to your husband, to your children . . . are your a ‘good child’ there?” (My Utmost for His Highest, 1935, August 24)
Halas and the Bears knew that the game in November with the Packers was critical since they were only a game ahead of Green Bay at the time. They turned up their goals in that game and inflicted 26-7 loss on their rivals. They rightly indexed their chances and beat the Packers. They didn’t faint that day, they achieved and “achieved only that which (they would) do.” Do you want to improve your prayer life? It is true that God doesn’t always grant what you want, but it is also true that God blesses prayer, that in sincerity and humility, asks for what the heart is longing for. Prayer is a dialogue and not a monologue. That means we enter into it with some planning and the ability to both offer and take away, speak and listen. God will grant your prayer. However this is not the reason he seeks it. He seeks communion with us in prayer. Never pray before first regarding how you have indexed your longings. Are you walking in the light, or is their a dark corner of your life God wants you to deal with? Find it and deal with it with God’s help. It makes for better prayer and richer blessings.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the ability to address our needs directly with you in the blessing of prayer. Forgive us, Lord, when we enter into prayer without any forethought often causing us to become uninspired and untrusting of what your will for us is. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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