Just

I just ask…

I don’t know how it started. Or who started it. Jon Acuff calls it a “prayer condiment.” I can’t stand it. To make matters worse, I know I have done it myself!

“Lord, I just ask You to…”

 Ugh.

 It’s as if we have we have forgotten with Whom we have fellowship.

When we pray just we are limiting God.

Have we forgotten our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills? And our Father delights in giving good gifts to His children? Note gifts. Plural. It’s not like God is broke. Or had a hard month at work. God desires that we delight in Him. And when we ask, He gets the glory. The credit belongs to Him.

When we pray just we are lacking the confidence that is ours through the Cross.

When I ask for God to just do this one thing, I am praying as one who doesn’t come boldly before His presence! Because I am brought into the family of God through the Body and Blood of Jesus, I can come boldly into His presence. Any time. Any day. The “just” prayer reflects the timidity of the one making intercession. In the same way I don’t want my kids to tiptoe around with me when they have a request, I believe God wants us to come boldly before Him because of the work of His Son. (Boldly is not to be confused with arrogantly, which would imply that I can come before God on my own merit.)

When we pray “just”…we are subtly attempting to manipulate God.

I’m not asking for much, God. Just this one thing. Is it because we think He is busy. Or because we can’t fathom a God who “is able to do abundantly more than I can ask or imagine.” Our Father can handle it. He’s not the Santa Clause god who has a limited amount of financial and physical resources at His disposal. He is not the busy god who has too much too handle, so we should limit our requests.He is the great awesome God who delights in giving good gifts to His children.

As I re-read what I have written, I am beginning to come perilously close to sounding like I am advocating a “name it and claim it” gospel. I may also come off like a prayer inspector, standing in judgement of others as a Pharisee.

That is not my intention.

What I do intend is to stir in us, in me, an awareness of Who I am praying to. I guess it is not who is praying, but Who is being prayed to.

And He is BIG! And GOOD! And POWERFUL!

So we never have to use the word “just” when we talk to Him.

Amen.

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3 responses to “Just

  1. Wow, since I read your blog and during my prayer time I didn’t realize how many times I said “just!” Thank you so much for this message…it’s not “just” part of me coming before His Holy Throne, it’s “all” of me standing before Him, seeking His presence, and worshiping with “all” of my heart. God bless you Chris. Miss you for sure.

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