My car stays on Christian radio. While I may not love every song, God seems to speak to me consistently through that medium and so I keep it there. One such lesson came last week when I was driving home from a photo shoot. The DJ came on and told a story about a lady who had been recently widowed and asked for listeners to join in prayer for her. Her prayer sounded exactly like what most of us would have prayed in that moment. It was in the line of "Lord, please be her comforter and her husband" that it hit me. I am asking for something that He already is! It is in His character. That doesn't come and go according to our circumstances. It always is and He already is! So, why do we pray that way when He has already defined Himself as such?
I thought of the countless times when I have asked God to be my provider, someone's comforter, or my source of peace. I never questioned my semantics until that moment when it occurred to me that He already is. The disconnect is not with God's identity in the situation, it is with my surrender to it.
I believe our best response to this is to pray differently. I am going to stop praying that God would be a certain role in someone's life and start praying that they would experience Him as that role.
Personally I am going to ask 3 questions of myself (and pray these for others) when I am in need of God's presence in my situation:
1. Am I responding in Faith? Do I really believe that God is my ________ and what does the evidence of that belief look like?
2. Am I responding in Function? Does my obedience to God's word in this situation reflect my faith that God is my _________? Am I doing what His word commands concerning my situation? Am I seeking Him in this role according to his Word?
3. Am I responding in Focus? Do I have my eyes fixed on Him instead of my circumstance?
To put it simply, the bridge between my circumstances and desired outcome is not God showing up in a certain role. He is already fully there. The bridge is my correct response to His presence.
So I will continue to pray according to God's character but I will know longer pray that he would "be." I will now pray that they would "know."