12 May 2014

Fast Food Prayer

"I'll take a number 7. Supersize it. With a Diet Coke."

Too often, my prayers feel this way. I quickly make my requests known to God so I can get on with the "important" stuff of my day. I'm a good Christian, so I make sure to throw in a few well placed thanks to God.

"God, today, I need you to watch over my family, and my friends, and my church. Provide me with the things that I need today God. Thank you for being God...oh yeah, please meet the needs of all of those people I told I would pray for them." 

Perhaps I should expect this response: "If everything on the screen looks correct, please pull around to the first window." This type of exchange is fast and efficient and I can go on about my day.  But this morning, I felt convicted (again) about this approach. In fact, the great irony was that in the middle of my prayer time, I felt this conviction and I wanted to hurry up and finish so that I could write this blog post because, well, [sarcasm on] you all needed to hear my wisdom. [sarcasm off]

Please don't hear me saying that it has anything to do with the length of the prayer, it really doesn't. Jesus said we should not heap up empty phrases (Matthew 6:7). Rather, it has to do with a heart attitude.  When I pray fast-food prayers, I have no relational goal.  I am speaking my wants into a microphone. I have no relationship with the girl who hands me a Sausage McMuffin and a coffee. She is merely there to quickly service my "culinary" desires.

However, God desires relationship and relationship doesn't happen this way. He wants our hearts. That happens not through an impersonal exchange, but through regular fellowship around his table of grace, speaking with him and listening to his voice. Psalm 34:8 says, "taste and see that the Lord is good." We must savor Him and his presence.

My challenge, and I hope yours too, is to grow in our relationship with Christ through our prayer lives. Whether our prayers are short petitions or long conversations, may we seek to know Him.Yes, He provides many good gifts, but those are secondary things. Knowing Him and being known by Him, now that's a meal worth savoring.

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