God has been talking to me about prayer. He has made it clear that I need to step it up in this department. I'm sure some one can relate.
Looking back over the past few years I realize that I am learning how to pray through something. As oppose to praying about something. There is a difference. I'm learning that there is a huge difference.
What is the difference? Well, here is what I'm learning.
Praying about something or someone is just spending a few minutes lifting that person/situation up in prayer. Just a sense that God has it under control and you just need to mention it in passing.
Praying about something could also turn into a nagging prayer life. I'm guilty of this. "Lord, it's not fair.", "Lord when will You move I'm tired of feeling like I'm all alone.", "God why this or why that?"
This is not the same as a flare prayer. You know the ones you utter in the quick of the moment. The almost car accident. When you child does something and you realize your temper in about to explode. The sudden feeling/discernment that something is wrong so you quickly say something to God for protection.
Those to me now are praying about stuff or people.
Praying through is when you are on your face before God. Your heart is always in silent prayer for that person or situation. You are humbled before God not imposing your will on anything. You truly want to see Him move and you don't care how or what it looks like.
Praying through something consumes who you are and you don't even realize it until it's over. For example, our son David and his new medicine. The medicine costs $1,700 per shot, per month. I cried, I prayed and I sought out anyone and everyone who would listen and pray. It was always before me in my thoughts and heart. I knew that God would show Himself mighty to me and anyone else who would hear this story.
Yet I went on. I didn't get upset or frustrated with God when the application for assistance was sent to the wrong fax number. I didn't get frustrated or upset when the actual application was wrong. I didn't panic when the doctor was on vacation for two weeks and couldn't sign the paperwork. I just got up every morning and brought it before God. Confident that He was the only way through this. That He created David. That God alone would touch this and make things new and restored.
Then I received the news that David was approved for the financial help.
My whole body shook. I cried. I sobbed hard. I fell on my face literally and chocked out praises. For the next few hours I would fall on my knees, hands up towards Heaven singing about how great our God is. I couldn't keep a smile off my face. With each new person I shared it with I sobbed in true admiration of how awesome Christ is. I couldn't even text it to my girlfriend without crying. I will never forget how it felt deep in my marrow.
For the first time in my life I truly understand Psalm 40:1 "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry."
That is what I did. I waited patiently, reverently for the Lord to answer us. He turned towards me and heard my cry.
When you pray about something and it is answered the general response is "Wonderful. God is awesome." Which is good and right. He is awesome. I'm finding that when I pray about something I am thankful for just the answer.
An example of 'praying about' would be a friend's job interview. The car passing inspection. Little things. You know.
When you pray through something and it is answered your overwhelming response is to fall on your knees in pure worship for the One. Not for the answer but for the One who answered.
This is what I'm learning. Just writing it out brings tears to my eyes. My spirit is so sensitive to this merciful lesson on praying.