What Do You Really Want to Pray For?

What Do You Really Want to Pray For?  -christyfitzwater.com

In a spirit of great generosity, Matt shared his M&M’s with me Tuesday night. This is part of what it means to love your wife the way Jesus loves the church, in case you were wondering.

I was self-controlled and only shook out four candies into my hand, because I didn’t want to take advantage of his kindness.

But I really wanted the whole bag, and that’s speaking the truth.

That brings me to a discussion on prayer, because I’m afraid some of you may be asking God for things in the same way I approached that M&M bag. You really want a lot, a whole lot, but you don’t want to take advantage or anything, so you only ask tiny little prayers that hardly satisfy your deepest cravings.

So let me show you how it’s done, this praying thing.

I start school next week, and I’ve been praying a short, specific prayer all summer. I pray it loud and 100 times a day. I pray it as a statement and with hardly a please (because have you noticed that Jesus never said please?): Lord, I want to be the best teacher ever.

Best teacher ever? Yes. I’m asking for that.

My prayer is connected to a song I heard last spring. The California Baptist University men’s choir performed at our church, and they sang Make it Glorious, by Tommy Walker:

Make it glorious, make it wonderful
The praises of our King
Make it passionate, given from our hearts
Sing praises of our King

Make it excellent, make it beautiful
The praises of our King
Let Him hear how much
We really thank Him
Sing praises to our King

Shout with joy to our God,
All the earth, give glory to His name
He deserves nothing less than our
Hearts and souls, our very best

Make it glorious, make it wonderful
Make it excellent, the praises of our King

Ever since I heard that song I have wanted to make my praise excellent to the Lord, by being the best teacher I can possibly be. In my character, room set-up, lesson plans, and service to my students, I want my fear of the Lord to show in an extraordinary way. In my excellence at school, I want people to see how awesome God is. Me being a great teacher is a work in progress, I know, but that’s where I’m headed, God help me.

Best teacher ever? Sounds bold when I say it out loud.

But Jesus encourages this kind of talk when he says:

“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  (John 14:14 NIV)

There’s something I know to be true. If I had asked Matt for that entire bag of M&M’s, he would have given it to me. He’s generous that way, and he’s sweet on me. A good combination –generosity and love, like we find in the heart of God.

So what do you really want to pray for? What God-honoring request do you want to make, but it sounds too greedy or too presumptuous when you say it out loud? Why don’t you give it a go and see what the Lord says?

Ask for the whole bag.