“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I recently was talking to a friend. She was frustrated that she was not getting an answer to her prayer. She said she was praying but was upset that she had not heard any answer from God.
“Why won’t He answer?” she said; such a common question.
So I asked how her Bible reading was going. Often when I hear from God, it is during reading my Bible. She looked at me and said she has not read her Bible in a really long time.
This is one of the biggest complaints that I hear from Christians or non-Christians around me is, “I’m just not hearing anything!” People are praying for something they want. People are praying for something big or for a sign to fall down in front of them telling them what decision to make.
But are you reading your Bible?
It is a legitimate question. You cannot not receive from God if you are not learning about Him, or spending time learning about what He has spoken about absolute truth. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says,
“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
You cannot have a growing, vibrant faith if you are not reading your Bible. You cannot have one without the other. Prayer is a very real part of a vibrant faith. But it is so much more than asking God to bless you or give you something.
It is about seeking God and praising Him; it is daily acknowledging that He alone is Creator and Saviour. Prayer is where we humble our stubborn pride and surrender. Prayer is where we say I am not going to live my life centered around me and what I want. Prayer is where we confess and admit our sin. Prayer is where we call out to God on behalf of those hurting and in need.
Prayer is big and powerful when we bring our hearts before the almighty God. But that’s just it, are we bringing our hearts to God? The Bible refers to God so many times as our Father.
What does a father want? Does he want you to just show up when you need something and then go live your life until you need something again? No. A father wants a hug. A father wants gratitude and thankfulness. A father wants a relationship with you. A father wants respect from you.
So I ask, how are you praying?
This has been a lesson that I am relearning. For the last several weeks I have been praying and fasting. Trust me; I am not great at fasting. I’m the worst at fasting. I go in with big intentions and quit about one day in, maybe two. But this time I told myself I was going to stick with it. I was seeking God for direction in my writing. I was not going to quit. And I didn’t quit. Day after day I showed up in my office. I opened my Bible and my journal and I read and prayed, I wrote out scripture that spoke to me. I started to enjoy it. I even started to look forward to it. And in the process, there was a shift inside of me. Yes I still care deeply about my writing, but I started to notice a change in my attitude. I started to show up in my office, not to receive God’s blessing and direction on my writing like I had originally set out to do weeks before. Instead I was showing up because I wanted to meet God. I wanted to show reverence and honor. I wanted to learn and grow. But I also wanted to humble myself and seek God’s direction for me as a woman and wife and mother. It became less about what I wanted to accomplish and more about what God wants to accomplish in my life. But that shift would not have happened if I was not reading my Bible consistently and showing up daily with praying.
“..Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong-you want only what will give you pleasure.” James 4:2-3
So here is my question: How are you showing up in your faith?
Are you showing up in your faith? Be honest.
What can you do different today?
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being a Father to me. Thank you for being good, faithful, loving and consistent. Today I surrender my hopes, wishes, dreams and desires to you. Help me to see the world around me through your eyes. May I be listening and hear you when you speak.