My husband, Galen and I have been watching King of Queens lately when we lay down to bed at night. We watched it for about three nights in a row when this episode came on. This seems to happen to us often. We find a show we really like and then here comes an episode where Jesus is blasphemed and if he's not blasphemed then He is severely misrepresented. When this happens I try to push past what I begin feeling internally. My stomach begins to churn and my spirit is crushed because I think about how many people are watching and believing certain deceptions as biblical truths. Jesus wants us all to come to a revelation knowledge of his heart as a GOOD Father. This episode ended up not being so bad but it really got me thinking do we really pray from the heart of the Father?
Watch the video first!
I love what happened before this part of the episode. Doug is excited to go to church and Carrie is dreading it big time! At the end of service, everyone is invited to pray. Carrie nudges Doug and says she is done praying. Doug encourages her to pray for something else. So, she closes her eyes with a smile and suddenly her phone dings and we learn what she prayed for. A pay raise! God answered her prayer! Suddenly, the tables turn. Carrie, not a girl who necessarily grew up in church and was not taught the "right" way to pray, has found a new purpose and a new side of God she never knew or experienced before. That night, at home, she prays for many things including the shoes she talks about in this clip. Doug gets mad at her and you see the rest from this 2 minute video.
Carrie is not confined to the teachings of people to think of God a certain way. Doug on the other hand sees God as someone who can't answer both the "small" prayers as well as the "big" prayers. He doesn't think God cares about Carrie's shoes and compares that prayer to Carrie seeing God as a genie. I can see where people might think it's awful to ask God to put a pair of shoes on sale when there are so many other problems in our world.
If we see God as a big God, way up in Heaven, far, far away in the sky, then we will only pray for the "bigger, broader" things like world hunger. But if you begin to view God as a good, good Father, who is close to you and loves you and actually gave you that desire for shoes, you will see that he cares about everything you love. Of course, we can't use God as the dime-store prayer box and expect to get these material things if we don't have a relationship with him. He loves our hearts for him. If our hearts are not set on who he is and what he desires, the shoes would become an idol to us. He is so much bigger than any of us can grasp. He is deeper and higher than all of our thinking combined.
Some of us didn't grow up with a loving earthly father so it can be hard to grasp what it means that God is a "good Father". In Luke 11:11 Jesus tells us that even our earthly fathers will give us fish if we ask for fish. Since we are talking about material things I will stay with material things as the example. However, this can apply to any area of your life! What Jesus meant by that was if you ask your dad for a new pair of shoes and he sees your excitement for them, he will eventually get them for you because he knows you will be grateful for them. Dads love to see the excitement on their children's faces. Who doesn't love to see children smile and laugh? When my children begin laughing with true joy I will actually stop what I am doing to listen and watch them. It is so enjoyable to me and makes my heart happy. On the other hand, if you're not grateful or if you're demanding, your dad would be reluctant to get them for you. He would want to know that you're thankful and going to steward the shoes he is buying you.
God loves your prayers. Specifically, I have a mandate to pray "governmentally". That doesn't just mean I pray for the government of the USA or other countries. It also means I pray the government of God into the earth. For the earth to function under the law and order of God's governmental rule. That is righteousness and justice. God is everywhere at all times and he also knows everything. Nothing is hidden from his eyes. He knows your deep, deep soul wound and he knows your tiny little offense you picked up earlier today. He wants to heal them both at the same time that he wants to intervene with the major problems in our world.
Most of the time when I begin to pray, I focus in on his goodness. Psalm 100 says we can enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise! That scripture has been such a revelation to me and when I focus on thanksgiving and praise, I can begin to engage with Heaven almost immediately. Then, I usually flow into specific prayers for my husband or the boys or anything personally. anything that pops into my head. I trust that since I am engaging with Jesus, Jesus is the one giving me those ideas. Then I will move into asking him questions like, "what do you want to say today, Jesus?" Or "Is there anything else you want me to pray for?" We can even ask him, "What do you say about me?" "How do you see me, Papa?" His love will overwhelm you!
If I am focused on seeking him about my Tuesday morning prayer group I lead, I will ask him to show me what to pray for in the nation of for certain leaders or for principalities we need to tear down. Lately, it has bee to pray for principalities. He always reveals and he always cares. He didn't send his son to die for us so we could only pray a certain way or for certain things.
It only takes your prayers. It only takes your honest heart, seeking God about how he is leading you to pray. I encourage you to pray both little prayers for yourself (because it's so encouraging when you see them answered) as well as bigger prayers that your heart's desire wants to see change. It can be for your family, your city, your children, your president, anything! He is waiting there with eager anticipation to see your beautiful lips move his heart with your prayers! Let the incense arise!
So, can we pray for shoes to go on sale and pray for world hunger to end all at the same time? The answer is yes! God is so much bigger than even world hunger.