When we are in trouble, really struggling, we often turn to God with some version of the prayer, “Oh God, help me!” Jesus shows us that we do not need to bargain for God’s help because God loves us as adopted children and wants to help us. This knowledge frees us to approach God with confidence and gratitude.
Most of us have prayed for patience, often with the simple prayer, “Please God, help me be patient.” In the confidence that God loves us, we can instead pray, “Thank you God for helping me to be patient and kind.” After all, we are capable of being patient and kind and we have been patient and kind. We know that with God’s help we can be patient and kind again, even in a challenging situation.
Pray as though the prayer has already been answered. Pray with the confidence that your relationship with God will sustain you, with gratitude that God hears your prayers, and you will again be blessed. As you pray, know that have already received guidance, and so you are able to focus on the solution rather than focusing on the problem. Focusing on the solution is so much more hopeful.
In our lives as Christians, and in our life together as a congregation, we are always asking for God’s guidance. We ask what God is calling us to do or be given who we are and the gifts we have. Consider the benefits of an affirmative approach to these important questions: not, “God show us where to go,” but “God, thank you for guiding our steps this far. Thank you for providing us with inspiration and direction.” Rather than being a supplicant unworthy of grace, when we pray with gratitude, we create a sense of having already been blessed.
Yours in Christ,