Just take two or three good deep breaths.
Just feel the breath come in and the air fill your lungs. Feel how alive you are in this moment, and just let go.
Let go of all those things you were supposed to get done today and all you didn’t get done. All the calls you were supposed to make, the things on your To-Do List – none of them matter. The only thing that matters is you and your relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s all. So put those other thoughts aside and let them flow away like leaves in a stream. Let them flow away… and just breathe.
The first thing I want to remind you of is how much the Father loves you.
Perhaps the word “father” causes you some pain, because your Dad disappointed you, let you down, even hurt you. But when Jesus was asked, “What is God like?” the best picture he could find was a Daddy who loves his children.
Picture what it would be like to have a Dad who was there for you, who gave you what you needed, who cheered for you at your ball games, who applauded at your recitals. That’s the Daddy that Jesus was talking about. In fact, when the disciples came to Jesus and asked him to teach them to pray, he said, “I want you to pray this way: ‘Abba!’” This is the word for daddy, not father. It’s the family word, the familiar word, the intimate word: Dad.
Do you realize that there has never been a time today when you’ve been out of his sight, out of his reach, out of his heart? There’s never been a moment when he wasn’t closer to you than your own breath. You may or may not have been aware of it, but that doesn’t change the ultimate truth: He was there.
Nothing you have done or haven’t done today, nothing in your past, nothing you are afraid of – nothing has changed his mind about how much he loves you.
I’m very close to my earthly Dad. He and I talk about two or three times a day. He called me just this afternoon to tell me he’d be praying for me today. Whenever I head home for a visit, I know he will be standing on the porch waiting for me to get there.
Can you understand God like that? When you are still enough, when you are quiet enough, when you say, “This is the moment I am going to pray,” and you turn to go into the Father’s presence, he’s standing on the porch waiting for you to come into the house.
So I’m going to give you a moment just to get there, just to feel the safety of the love, the security of him being there, knowing there is nobody or nothing big enough to take you away from him. Just get there.
How are you?
You know what his first question is going to be? “How are you?”
Don’t lie. You can’t fake him out by smiling when you’re hurting. You’re not going to tell him something he doesn’t know. He won’t be shocked. Be honest. Trust him with your heart. Trust him with your reality right now.
Tell him how you are. Don’t worry about it sounding churchy or pretty. Use the words that you know…the words that come from your gut , that come from your bones.
How are you?
Do you need anything?
The Father’s second question is: “Do you need anything?”
You’re tempted to be nice, to be polite, to ask for something you should ask. Or you’re thinking, “I’ll ask for something easy for God to do.” Don’t.
“Is there anything too hard for God?” the prophet asked. So what is it that you need?
– a job
– a career
– the right person
Ask. Ask from your heart, from your gut. Trust him to say yes when it is right and to say no when it is right.
Is there anything wrong? Are you hurting anywhere? Have you messed up? Tell him. Own it. Tell the Father:
– This is what happened.
– This is where I was.
– This is where I failed.
– This is where I messed up and forgot who I was.
Don’t try to cover it up. Just tell him.
What do you need to celebrate? What do you need to thank God for? What is going good in your life? What new treasure have you discovered? Tell him. Celebrate.
As your praise and thanksgiving comes to a close, ask the Lord what he would have you to do. Much of our prayer is talking to God about what we need him to do. Let’s bring our prayer time to a close by asking the Lord, “What is it you to need me to do now?”
How can the Lord use you in this moment?
– Is there a friend who is lonely, who the Lord would ask you to contact?
– Can you be the healing one, the strong one in your family?
– Is there someone you need to forgive, somebody who needs to forgive you?
– Is there a relationship that needs to be worked out?
– Is there some call on your life to some ministry or mission?
Take a moment and listen for his answer.
Father, when we hear about how much you love us, that you’ll always be there, how constant and consistent you are – it’s hard for us to believe. Others have let us down, and we know how flaky we are when we make promises. But when you say, “I’ll keep my promises,” it’s true.
So I pray for my friends now. Some of them are praying very simple prayers. They need your strength to get through this day, this night, this challenge.
Others are praying very difficult prayers – prayers that are so big and so confusing they don’t see how in the world anybody, even you, can work it out. I ask, Father, that now, as they pray, they will begin to trust. I pray that your Spirit will tell them:
– You’ve heard their prayer.
– You’re already working on it.
– What you’re working on is the absolute best they could ever have.
For my friends who are wounded, I pray for their healing. For my friends who are angry, I pray for release and forgiveness. For my friends who are lost, I pray this will be the moment you find them.
For all of us, may this be the moment that you remind us who you are and what we are in you. I pray this in your name. Amen.
(Excerpt from the book In Real Time by Mike Glenn)