During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
In our household, prayers went up every Sunday morning for the New England Patriots to defeat their opponent on the football field. My husband was the punter for the Patriots and had been playing in the NFL for over seven years at this time, but this particular football season was different.
The Patriots were one of the few teams in history to put together an undefeated regular season. They were set to play the New York Giants in Arizona for Super Bowl XL, and the frequency of our prayers increased along with our excitement.
I cannot find a verse in the Bible claiming God is a football fan, but we prayed fervently for the Patriots to defeat the Giants and win the Championship game.
The Patriots lost to the Giants and the rest is history.
After the disappointing loss, we traveled home to Georgia to spend time with family during the off-season. Our oldest son, Christian, who was six years old, signed up to play flag football and was placed on the recreation New England Patriots team. We were the best-dressed fans at the game with all of our team gear. Christian proudly represented the Patriots like his daddy and his team turned out to be really good.
An undefeated season earned them a spot in the Championship game.
During the final game, I looked up and realized what team the Patriots were playing: the Giants.
My eyes met my husband’s and we both laughed.
Christian and his Patriot teammates went on to defeat the Giants in the championship game and received their trophies at the local pizza parlor. My first thought was, “Alright God, you answered my prayer. I guess I need to be more specific next time.”
Learning to pray has been such a journey in my life. Sometimes I am not sure how to pray, how often to pray, or what is appropriate to pray for. Does praying in the car count or through song in the shower?
Before, I felt that if I didn’t specifically pray for a specific need with the correct wording, posture, and tone of voice, then God would not hear me. I felt like God’s timing may be off if I didn’t specify healing, success, and provision were needed right then.
I see myself maturing in my prayer life because I now understand that regardless of how well I pray, I am seeking God. As I read God’s Word and ask for His direction, I intentionally position myself before God with a heart that praises who He is first and foremost.
I want to develop a heart of humility and spend time thanking God for who He is before my needs even come to my mind. I want to be able to model my prayer life after Jesus and be able to connect to God in an unhindered, fully surrendered way where my heart screams out, “I want to know you, Lord.”
God promises me that He hears my prayers and He is faithful. The Holy Spirit prays on our behalf.
God understands our yearnings, cries, and groans.
I refuse to believe lies telling me God is not listening or He doesn’t care. I refuse to believe the lie that God wants more from us than a response of faith to His grace.
God does not need my eloquence or my appropriate requests. He simply wants me to seek Him first in reverent submission. A humble heart