Why bother vs. nagging vs. how can I help vs. let me take a meeting
It’s easier for me to think about asking God to give me something, to work in me, to help me be a better builder in his kingdom. I’m less sure how it works to ask something for someone else…does God require/need me to pray for for someone in order for them to experience God’s love? I would think not. [What king would be foolish enough to put me in charge of one of the city gates so that people could only come in if I opened the door?]
So why should I pray? Why should I ask for something that is already on God’s heart, and part of his deepest desire? On the human level, when someone keeps asking me to do something that I plan to do, I get irritated after awhile. [for some of us ‘awhile’ is one minute]. If the person keeps asking and asking and asking me, I’ll say, Yes, I heard you. I’m going to do it. Just be patient, will you?”
But if I were the asker, the next thing I’d say would be “Well, is there anything I can do to help you? Do you need me to do anything? Can I facilitate or serve in any way?'” And I think God welcomes that. I think that is the importance of listening to God when we pray. I don’t have to convince God of the worthiness of this request. Praying about it is more like having a strategy meeting to discuss different options and approaches.
However often I’m too busy–or maybe I don’t think it is my place– to have a meeting with God. I can picture myself in the kingdom command center throwing out a little prayer to God every time I walk past the throne room. “Please help Julie. Please show her Yourself” etc etc. But eventually God calls out to me. “Whoa there. Why are you always in such a hurry? Come in and sit down and let’s talk about this. Let’s work together to figure out how we can get Julie to become more receptive to receiving my love and salvation for her.”
Prayer is a prime example that being a follower of Christ isn’t about religion. It’s a relationship. Presence, talking, sharing, intimacy, partnership.