The Second Week of Lent

Why do we need to pray when God can read our minds 24/7?  Why can’t he just figure out what we’re worried about and take care of it for us?  Emma Lazarus wrote “…give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” in 1883 and eventually her words were put on a bronze plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty.  The words say “give me”, not “I will take”.  God isn’t going to just take our thoughts – He wants us to give them to Him freely – of our own accord.

We have a choice.  We can hold on to our anguish and worry, our hurts and wounds, and let them fester in our minds until we turn sour with the effort.  Or we can freely and willingly give our troubles to God, and trust that He knows what is best for us.

We can ignore God Monday through Saturday, and show up on Sunday and sing our hearts out, but that’s not being a Christian.  That’s just one step above being a “Chreaster” (those folks who only shop up on Christmas and Easter).  We have to remember God all week long – and remember that we are Christians all week long.

Daily prayer insures that we take the time to stop and deliberately share with our Heavenly Father what’s on our mind.  We put down the phone and the remote and we step outside our normal, hectic life, and take a moment (or two) to share our day with God.  We deliberately tell God what’s troubling us, what concerns us.  We don’t just hope God will read our minds.  He wants us to put our concerns and worries into words.  And as we talk to God (because that’s what prayer is- talking to God) we will find that we can feel at peace with the situation.  We may even have a moment when we realize we knew the right answer all along – we were just too stubborn to recognize it.

If we don’t take our concerns and worries to God, it’s like we’re saying “hey God – I don’t need you- I’ve got this.”  We’re thumbing our noses at God.  Or maybe we think He’s too busy for our petty problems.  Where did that notion come from?  The Bible tells us differently “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)  God cares about each and every one of us.  I saw a post on-line the other day that talked about how we don’t wait till we stop bleeding to go to the hospital, so why would we wait until we’re perfect to turn to God.

God loves us in our current broken, imperfect state.  He made us, and He gave us the free will to mess up our lives.  But He also sent Jesus to show us the way back to God, and He gave us the Holy Spirit to help guide us every day.  Don’t neglect God – He certainly isn’t neglecting you.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, I come before you today with a heavy heart.  Help me trust that You know what is best for me.  In Jesus’ name I ask it.  Amen.

Thanks to Sylvia P. Greeson for writing this devotion.

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