Sunday, October 5, 2008

"It's All About The Heart"

Last week, Chad focused on Colossians 4:2-4 which talks about prayer. Chad emphasized, just as Paul did in his letter, that we need to have a devotion to prayer because prayer opens doors.

Chad even went so far as to illustrate a few prayer “mindsets” that some of us may have. He had a “deal or no deal” looking button and said that sometimes, we do that in prayer. The thing is, God is the one deciding “deal or no deal” when we “bargain” with Him. I’m sure we’ve all had times where we have tried to make deals with God haven’t we? Though, we needn’t have to if we know how much He truly loves us. We don’t have to make “deals” with our Father. He already made the ultimate deal by giving us grace!!

The next illustration Chad showed us was the “time card” area where we just kind of serve our time in prayer. Clock in and clock out….pretty monotonous. Not that having scheduled prayer or carving out time to do so each day is a bad thing, but we got to be careful that it doesn’t become so “routine” that we don’t engage our heart in it.

Then, there are the “dartboard” prayers. He had a target hanging up in the air and then just kind of tossed some darts at random up in the air (kind of like some kids do when they are tossing pencils in the ceiling at school). We just kind of throw up some quick prayers here and there and then go about our day.

Then, Chad showed us the basketball prayers - the kind of “hit or miss” prayers. He says with those, sometimes our devotion to the request is greater than it is to God. We are so focused on the ball and making it in, that we forget about whether it’s God’s will or not and if we should be “shooting” for it at all.

The final illustration that he showed us was the lawnmower/chainsaw prayers. He used his son to help him demonstrate it because he said that whenever he uses those machines, his little boy is always right there. “He’s all about my business” he said. So, hand and hand, they do the work together and they have that fellowship.

These are only but a few of the many mindsets that one may have about prayer. Chad said there are pros and cons to all of the things mentioned. None of them are really “bad” methods. What counts is the heart and how our minds are focused on prayer. As God always reminds me, “It’s all about the heart, Melissa.” God is interested in our hearts; our business.

I have probably prayed in a lot of different mindsets before (probably all of the above mentioned and then some!). Though, if I were to describe my “ideal” way of prayer, it would probably be illustrated a lot differently. When I think of true heart to heart prayer, I think of peace, comfort, and intimacy. I think about sitting on the couch and imagining that I am just sitting on the lap of my Father - telling Him everything. Or, maybe it’s kind of like going to a “shrink” where you lay on the couch and tell God about everything and He listens, counsels, and instructs you - filling you with wisdom, instruction, and helping to transform you into a better person than you were when you walked in the door. As wonderful as that is, I think that vision of prayer sometimes scares people because they fear that closeness (as well as change). Getting to that place with God can be uneasy and painful sometimes - especially if you aren’t really open to His instruction. Even more so if you are dealing with a great deal of buried pain and need healing. Even still, it’s all worth it once you get it all out!! God is with you through it all and He’s all about restoration and renewal!!

I pray that throughout this week, prayer will be something on the hearts of all of us. Prayer needs to be a continuous thing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) no matter how long or short the prayers are. It’s not quantity, it’s the quality - it’s the HEART!!! Connect to God through your heart; that’s all that matters!!!

Grace and peace to all of you!! God bless you!!

1 comment:

God's Girl said...

Sounds like fun illustrations to get people to really think about their prayer life. Thanks for sharing! You blessed me. : )

P.S. I love the title to your Blog