12 September 2013

Praying for Rain

Founders Note: Today on the blog we have one of our monthly contributors Kristy, from her blog Season of Singleness, be sure to check it out! Also you can find out more about her on our About page here. She is sharing her heart on this months theme Prayer. 


How often do we pray and actually expect God to give us what we asked for? Do you just pray to check off a mental checklist? Do you really expect Him to answer? Do you think He is listening?

My family tells this story about a distant relative who was asked to pray during a church service. During his prayer, he humbly and simply prayed for rain to end a drought. Silly, right? Before church could even dismiss, a thunderstorm was unleashed that left everyone shuddering in awe, but it didn’t end there. It rained for a few weeks. As a child, I had a similar experience. The water level of my grandfather’s fishpond was looking a little low. After a conversation with my dad on why we couldn’t fish, I sent a prayer heavenward. I simply asked the heavenly Father for some rain so the fish wouldn’t die. It rained for two weeks. Ah, the faith of a simple old man and a child. My family likes to joke about praying for rain, but the Lord said we are to ask if we want to receive. The asking process is an important part of prayer.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 NIV

What are the last few things you asked for? Again, did you actually expect God to give them to you? The second step in a prayer request is to expect God to answer your prayer.

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” James 1:6-7 NIV

So often we pray out of habit and we just utter requests to the Lord with little thought to what we would do if we actually received our request. So, if you are going to pray for rain, take an umbrella. Ok, easier said than done, right? What about the bigger issues? Praying for someone’s health? peace? financial burdens? stress of life? Be reasonable, don’t pray for million dollars and promptly rack up just as much debt. However, we can’t pray for peace then dwell on our unhappiness or discontentment. I can’t pray for a love one to be healed, and then mope around forever when they don’t. God did answer that prayer, and I have to believe He has a reason and purpose for answering it the way He did. If you are going to release that prayer heavenward then you should be willing to surrender that need or want to God. Still sound simple? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Well, I haven’t prayed for rain lately, but do you want to know what I have been praying for? Two things, peace with my singleness or an end to it. I’ve struggled with coming to terms with my singleness for over 10 years. The Lord has brought me through trials to help me see my self worth, boost my self esteem, and show me how I could be content with Him as the only significant other in my life. It has been a daily struggle with surrender and learning to let the Lord guide me. Praying and being content with God’s answer isn’t always easy, especially when we don’t want the answer He is dishing out. Just over 10 years after my last relationship ended, the Lord answered my prayer, and I was surprised. Over the last five years, I’ve uttered countless prayers and frustrations to God, friends, family, or whoever would listen. I’ve read several of the books out there that try to help you cope and come to terms with your singleness, even taking their suggestions to use it as a time to grow closer to God. My walk with God has strengthened, but in the back of my mind I have wondered if singleness was simply my lot in life. Doubt was beginning to win. I even got to the point where I tried to convince myself I could be happy single, if God called me to be, but secretly, my heart hoped for a different solution. Fear kept me from uttering it aloud, but God definitely knows me better than I know myself. During the last few years, I’ve watched friends and family live their lives while I felt like I was stuck in a rut. Almost daily, I had to pick myself up and give it all to God, all my dreams, wants, wishes, and most importantly, my prayers. I trusted Him with them. I had to! Without his presence and guidance, there is no way I could have faced morning after morning, trial after trial, without the peace and hope He promises.

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5 NIV

Hope - the desire for a positive outcome… sounds a lot like James 1:6. We are to pray and expect God to answer with a positive outcome. I have to believe that there is a reason for how He has orchestrated my life, a reason for how He has answered all those prayers. Sometimes they definitely don’t feel like positive answers, but as I recently explained to student in my Sunday school class, the Lord sees our entire earthly life in the span of a few seconds. We have no idea what He is preparing us for. I looked at this fifth grader and realized that my trials as a teenager have helped me comfort and counsel more students than I can count. What is the Lord preparing him for? What kind of students will he teach or influence one day? Our God really is awesome and wonderful. We can’t always see a purpose for the trials we face or the prayers that don’t get answered like we want them to. However, if you are going to pray, you must acknowledge that God has a divine purpose for you life and that He is in control. Your prayers are an act of submission and surrender, of giving the Lord Almighty a chance to use you in a mighty way. I didn’t pray for rain, but it is raining as I type. Did you? If so, don’t forget your umbrella.


3 comments:

  1. Kristy, thanks for sharing your heart. What a great lesson to learn about prayer.

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  2. Wow, this is so powerful, so true, and beautifully written, too! It's easy to think that our prayers aren't answered when things don't go according to our plans or that we have to pray out of obligation--but that definitely not the case when it comes to praying to God! Great post, Kristy! :)

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  3. I have always loved the story of the two farmers. Both of the farmers prayed for the rain to come and feed their crops. After they were done praying only one of the farmers went to prepare his fields for the rain.

    If we pray for rain, do we really expect to receive it? If we desire something and believe it to be within God’s will for our lives, we need to believe that God will bless our work. But first, we need to do our part so God can do His. We need to go prepare our fields for God's blessings to rain down.

    Thanks for the inspiration! It's what I needed to hear at the end of this week :)

    - Brooke

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"Pleasant words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24