Prioritize Your Prayers

birthdayMy daughter is turning 12 in 12 days! It’s her champagne birthday! I remember saying to her when she was two, “Will you please stay two forever?” Of course she agreed she would never grow up, but these last ten years have been something I would never change. She’s turning into an incredible young lady!

I remember when she was born and I had a 20 month old, who thought he was Spider-man, and hung from my curtains, my freezer door, or anything that he could turn into a web. I never got to sit and eat with the family, because I always put the kids before myself. I would jump at their every need. It was a very demanding season in my life, but now that I am through those hard times I get to enjoy this kind, thoughtful, sporty girl, as well as my Spider-man, who now has other big dreams of saving the world.

Looking back, I think that maybe I had my priorities a bit mixed up. My husband was always encouraging me to go do things for myself, but I would always feel guilty leaving the kids, and would never go. The old saying, hind sight is 20/20, is definitely true. Not that I regret my sacrifice, but I think we would have been a healthier and happier family if I had of followed my husband’s advice.

Just as I once sacrificed my happiness for that of my children’s I find some of us might do the same with our prayer lives. I had one of my friends explain to me the other day that she spends so much time praying for her family and others that she doesn’t pray very much for herself. I was the same way, until I started becoming more educated in God’s word. I used to feel guilty if I prayed or ask for anything for myself. I would pray for everyone’s needs but my own. I would pray for my family’s needs, my friends’ needs, even for people that I didn’t know very well, but I wouldn’t pray for what I wanted, what I dreamed of, my wishes. Why? Again, I put everyone ahead of me.

Another reason why I didn’t like to pray for myself was that I harbored tons of guilt on all my poor choices that I made over my years of trying to find my place on this earth. I felt that I wasn’t worthy of his blessings. Again, the more I studied the scriptures the more I realized that there were many corrupt individuals in the Bible that the Lord still forgave, blessed, healed, saved and led to do great things. Some stories in the Bible made me feel like a true Saint!

Take a look at the Lord’s Prayer, that is given to us in the book of Matthew. It is all about praying for yourself. Your food, your sins, your enemies, your temptations, and so on! It is all about asking God for the things you need, so why should we feel guilty about asking for more?

We are here on Earth to fulfill God’s destiny for ourselves. If we aren’t praying for guidance from our creator, how are we going to reach this goal? Life these days has tons of stress in it. If we don’t ask God to give us strength to face these daily challenges, how do we function? If we aren’t following those little voices in our heads and our dreams in our hearts, again—how do we reach them? Through prayer!

When my grandmother passed many years ago, I kept this leather binder of her notes that she had kept from 1944 when she attended Toronto Bible College. I was drawn to the book in my 20s because it had her handwriting in it, and I thought then I could always treasure a piece of who she was. I knew she was very educated and religious, but little did I realize that this book was going to become my go-to source for my self-education about the Bible.

She explains, that in the book of Psalms, David prays constantly for his needs. Because David was a naturally generous and whose character was generally free from malice and vindictiveness, God was there to answer his many prayers that he prayed for himself. She wrote, “His enemies were God’s enemies and what he asked for is the vindication of God’s cause and not merely his own.”

Hmmmm! Gets you thinking right? As long as we are living in God’s word and have a heart full of love and not conceit or evil, then God is here to answer your prayers. To bless you with your wishes. God sees who you are on the inside, and if you are so reserved and humble to think you don’t deserve his many blessings, or that you pray for everyone but yourself, that demonstrates just what a great heart you already possess.

Matthew 6:6 tells us, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  

Look after yourself first!  Then you will have the strength of God in you to serve your family, survive your day at work, juggle your crazy schedule, face that mountain of debt you may be trying to eliminate, and be who he has created you to be. Make praying for yourself and your needs your first priority and then you will be strong to carry out what is asked of you on a daily bases.

Just like I should have listened to my husband many years ago and made the time for myself so that I could enjoy my family and children more, please listen to me and make time in your life to pray for yourself, so that you have God’s strength inside of you to face the many challenges that our world thrashes us with on a daily basis. It will change your life!