What is EDGE-X?

Evangelize the Lost, Disciple the Found, Give back to the Community, Edify the Church, all to eXalt the Savior.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Hey everyone!

I was just reading Jon Acuff's Stuff Christians Like blog post, "Remix – #53. Saying "I’ll pray for you" and then not.", and what he said on this post really hit me. (If you are unfamiliar with SCL, it is a Christian satirical website designed to exaggerate and poke fun at Christian stuff in churches and culture. I personally love Jon's work and read his blog often.) God had been convicting me about prayer for a while, so I thought I would share with you what God has shared with me.

The first thing Jon said on this blog post was, "Sometimes, saying 'I’ll pray for you' is just the Christian equivalent of ending a date by saying 'I’ll give you a call.'" Owch... After I read that, I couldn't help but think, How true! How often do we actually pray for a person after we say, "I'll pray for you."?

Do you pray actually for someone after you say you will, Adam?

"Pffft! Of course I do! How rude of you to imply that I don't!" 

Really? Do you actually pray, or do you just say, "Oh yeah... uh... God?.... Hey... Can you, uh, be with my friend (insert name).... he/she could really use some help right now... K, thanks," and then go right back to whatever you are doing? Do you actually take time out of our day to pray for those people you said you were going to pray for? Or are you just throwing out a quick breath-prayer that lasts less than a second?

Don't hear me wrong, breath-prayers are uber important. I do them all the time. As long as they are genuine, I'm sure God loves breath-prayers. Breath-prayers remind us to keep close to God moment of every day and to remind us of who is guiding our lives.

Sadly, I think many times we (or maybe it's just me) go through our day only offering up breath-prayers and forgetting to take time to pray. Sometime we may do the opposite and just only go to God with our problems, listing them off as fast as we can so we can get back to work. Those two seems to be the two things I tend to struggle with most when it comes to prayer: (1) making time to pray, and (2) directing my attention to God.

Notice: I said "making time to pray" not "finding time to pray". God has really been hitting me on the head with this idea. I really have to work on this. I think that so many times we get so wrapped up in "doing" that we forget to live. We rush through the day, trying to cram in as much as we can do as fast as we can because that is what society tells us to do. We forget to slow down and take time out of our day to relax and enjoy the little things. Nobody's day is too busy that they "can't find time to pray." I've always believed that you make time for the things you love to do. If you love God, you will make time in your day to talk to him, not just find it. You will give Him focused, intentional time, not just the scraps at the end.

I know this is tough. I know it is hard to try to manage your day when it seems like the entire world is spinning around you so fast that you can't seem to keep anything straight. I want to be involved in so much. I want to do it all. I want everyone to be happy so I don't say "no" to anyone. I hate disappointing people. In the process of "doing", I am pushing God further and further away from me. I am making my own agenda rather than going to Him for His agenda.

All God wants is our directed attention to Him. You would expect the same from one of your friends who wants to talk to you. Jesus said:

And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to 
stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they 
may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your 
Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

--- Matthew 6:5-6 (ESV, emphasis added)

I need to start actively praying more, not just for those around me, but also to connect more with Him. He wants to spend time with me. He doesn't want me to just come to Him with a list of needs, rattle them off, and then say, "OkthankyouGod,amen!"

Here's how I see it: 

Scenario 1: After a few years of living in a new neighborhood, you end up becoming best friends with your next door neighbor. You invite them over to dinner, bring them to game nights, and get to know them well in the process. However, over time you notice your neighbor is becoming more and more busy. After a while, you walk by their house on your evening walk, waving and calling their name, and they reply with a distant, "Hey... could you, um... help clean the garden tomorrow..." Confused, you say you will.  You ask why but they are off in their own world, wandering back into the house. After helping with the garden the next day, they ask you, "Can you...uh... pick the kids up from... school....tomorrow...." You ask them if they are okay, but they never reply. They are in their own world once again, not really talking to you about the situation, just asking for help. 

I think sometimes we do this to God...

Scenario 2: Imagine you are going to pick up your friend from their house to drive them to lunch. Your friend gets in the car and closes the door. You ask them how their day is going and they ignore you. Suddenly, they start talking about how their car is broke down and how their spouse is railing on them about fixing it and how the kids aren't doing well in school and how their neighbor is financially struggling and how their grandma is sick and how their cousin is pregnant and how their other friend is moving and how their dog is-- 

Do you get the point? 

Do we come to God like that? Are we, like in the first scenario, just praying for people without really thinking about it? Or are we just listing off prayers like in the second scenario? Jesus doesn't want either of these. He wants us. He wants to sit down with us and talk with Him about our problems and other people's problems. 

Here are some tips for praying God has shown me: 
  • Remember to take time out of each day and go to your "prayer closet" and pray. Find a quiet place, grab your Bible, and just talk to Him. Start with a simple time too; you can't be a marathon pray-er overnight. One thing my friend and I are starting to do is to take two solid, dedicated minutes out of our day to spend with God. Seems easy, right? I mean, two minutes does NOT seem like a long time at all! Start there, and increase your prayer time by a minute each weak (or more) until talking to God becomes a regular thing you do. Just remember, those two minutes are in solid prayer, talking with Him about life, not just going through a prayer list.  
  • Another piece of advice God told me was when you say you are going to pray for someone, take a few seconds right after you finish talking with that person, stop what you are doing, and just talk to God about that person. Don't wait until that night when you are going to bed or when you wake up the next morning to pray to mention that person to God. Just stop and pray. 
  • One final nugget of wisdom is to pick one person you are praying for each day to be your "Prayer Person of the Day". During meals and throughout the day, lift up short, meaningful breath prayers for that person throughout the day. Remind yourself to pray in whatever way helps you the best. It could be through sticky notes, a string on your finger, dry erase message on the bathroom mirror, an alarm on your phone, or some other creative thing, like, "Every time I hear the clock chime I will pray for them". 

That's what God has been speaking to me. I hope you all can hold me accountable to this as well. And remember, I'm praying for you. 

Following His Call, 
(Matthew 6:5-6)

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