"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
I woke up this morning in Milledgeville, Georgia. I had my quiet time reading my Bible. Then, with my head bowed and eyes closed, I started to pray.
They were words I'd prayed many times before: “Thank You for another day, for waking me up and for this time I have with You.”
Then I fast-forwarded straight from thanking to asking.
"Father, I pray for my friend. Be with him today as he’s recovering from heart surgery. Go before him; take care of all his needs. Be with all the doctors and specialists who are watching over him and give them wisdom. Let them feel your power and presence.”
I prayed for his wife. "She has great financial needs right now, plus the burden of a long recovery ahead. Her burden is heavy. Will You make provisions for her needs?”
I heard a whisper. Not audibly, but that nudging in my heart that I have come to recognize over time as God interacting with me: "Stop asking Me for what I’m already doing!"
I had to do a double-take for a moment. “What, Lord? What did You say?”
I didn't hear a reply, so I continued my prayers.
“Lord, I pray for another friend. You know the loss she has experienced and the pain she has endured. Help her as she faces the battle.”
Then another whisper, "Danny, stop asking Me for what I am already doing!"
I hit the pause button again. This time God kept whispering……..
"I’m already with them ... I’m Emmanuel."
"I have their healthcare under control ... I’m Jehovah Rapha."
"I’ve already provided what they need ... I’m Jehovah Jireh."
"I see the battle they're in. I’m the banner flying over them ... I’m Jehovah Nissi."
Still puzzled by the interrupting whisper, I closed my prayer time with a meaningful "Amen" and got up with the intention of going about the rest of the activities for today.
But then I experienced the "light bulb” of His whisper. I remembered a verse I had read earlier this morning in my quiet time, 2 Peter 1:3, "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."
It all became clear. The light bulb clicked on and I finally understood what God was trying to say. If God is providing, then I needed to stop ASKING and start PRAISING.
God's Word always confirms His whispers.
My prayers were becoming tired and mechanical. I wondered if God even heard my prayers. God was challenging me to examine my prayers to find ways He was already working, and then praise Him for how He's already providing for my friends' and loved ones' needs.
Taking God up on this challenge has given me confidence in my prayer life. I know my prayers are being heard and answered.
What if we paused to examine our requests to see how God is already working, then praised Him for what He is already doing?
I know, I know. It's a radical thought. It might mean readjusting our usual prayer time to make room for His whispers. He may ask us to talk less and listen more so we can be more intentional with our prayers.
Maybe God wants to interrupt your prayers, too. He doesn't want you to stop praying, but instead be faithful to press pause and start praising.