When You Desire Everything But God (the prayer God loves to answer)

“Be the driving desire of my life.” – Beth Moore

I was on the treadmill earlier today, walking full-speed, reflecting on life and all the things that God has done over the past couple of years in my own heart as well as the hearts of my people.  I have seen so much movement and growth in our little family as God has taken hold of each one of us, turned us inside out and caused us to fall deeply in love with Him.  I would have to say that it’s been the theme of each of our lives these past two years from John all the way down to seven year old Drew.  He is actively moving in each of our lives and we are noticing. This is not to say our days are perfect – at all.   In fact, just today there have been a few tears, unfriendly exchanges and I am writing this blog to the backdrop of bickering that I am trying to ignore, but the general flow of things in our family is towards God.  I have wondered about what has been happening and something struck me just today.  God has been answering a VERY simple prayer!

I have been reading the book Audacious by Beth Moore and she talks about how praying, “Be the driving desire of my life,” is a life-changing prayer and something clicked.  I believe that what has been happening in our little family is the direct result of a prayer we began praying almost every night as a family a couple of years ago.  The timing matches – exactly.  Honestly, when we started praying it, I don’t think I really believed it would be answered.  I mean I kind of did, but not to the level He has answered.  Actually, it was kind of like, “Um..God, we’re entering teenage years.  Please don’t let our kids go off and do anything strange or harmful. Help them to love you most.”  It was more like I hoped it would happen, but I completely could not have foreseen how God would answer.

I actually don’t even think I understood what we were praying for.  The prayer was kind of smashed between, “Help us to have a good day tomorrow,” and “Thank you we had a great day today.” (Much to my annoyance, this would even be prayed when we had a day full of bickering, fighting and chaos.)  I just say this to make sure you don’t get the wrong idea that we were all flat on our faces in awe and reverence with tears streaming down our faces.  It was prayed with embers and sparks, not with passionate fires burning, but I think that God is so eager for us to know Him, be captivated by Him and to show Himself to us that He answered this prayer.  God will come at the slightest invitation.  He WANTS us to be captivated by Him more than we could ever desire it.   Our little hearts have just a fraction of the capacity of His.   Put a little, tiny, mustard seed sized desire or faith with a God who wants to move and I can guarantee something will happen.  This is the prayer we have prayed.  There are different variations, but this is the gist of it.  It sounds different coming from teenagers and seven year olds, but we all pray it to some degree on varying nights.

“Lord, help our family to know you more.  Be the driving force of our lives.  Help us to want You more than anything else in this life.”

In this little prayer, there was an ember of desire.  “God, You’re not the driving force, but we want you to be.  You’re not center.  As much as we want You to be, we don’t really know how to put You there.  What does that even mean, anyway?  God, so much pulls at us.  God, if we are honest, there is so much we want more than You.  Do what You need to in us, so that You are center. God, we think that maybe our kids are getting a lot of knowledge about You, but we fear they may not really KNOW you.”

We finally had stopped saying that we loved Him most and admitted we didn’t – but we wanted to.  He was A driving force, but not THE driving force – but we wanted Him to be.  We knew what we wanted, but to get there was as easy as jumping from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other.  Doing more didn’t do it.  Doing less didn’t do it.  Reading the Bible more didn’t do it.  Reading more books didn’t do it.  Having well-behaved kids didn’t do it.  Having a healthy family didn’t do it.  Having a good marriage didn’t do it.  Having good friends didn’t do it.  Deep discussions about Him didn’t do it.  Being in leadership didn’t do it.  Nothing was doing it.  The long and short of it was nothing could do it.  Something was missing.  We simply needed Him.  We needed HIM to do it.  He needed to do what we couldn’t make our hearts do – love Him most.

The result has been that we have been overcome.  Overtaken by Him.  I really can’t explain it except that He just keeps showing up.  We have been overcome by His love for us.  He has ripped out fears, healed hurts, overcome lifelong heart issues, overthrown religious duty for true passion, replaced ‘shoulds’ with ‘wants,’ replaced striving with grace (the ability to walk wholly and holy) and we have been completely overrun by His love.  One thing I know for sure is that we didn’t do it.  We just didn’t.   I know because we tried. and tried. and tried. and tried.  It didn’t work.  Even though our prayer was small, it arose from a tiny bit of desperation that something had to change.  We were tiring of other things and I think that’s what He wanted.  He wanted to be the Answer.  He had to wait until we knew that we didn’t have one.  He was waiting for us to try our own things, even good things, so that He could show up.  He didn’t want it to be a question of who pursued who.  I can tell you that our passion didn’t match His.  Not at all.  That little ember of desire and the weariness of looking for what we were missing?  All Him.  He wanted us to ask.  He was waiting for us to want Him and at the slightest squeak of an ask, He came running.  Not all at once.  I mean, I am just today realizing the relation of that prayer and what He’s been doing these past couple of years, but there has been no question for any of us that He has been doing some pretty incredible things.  The best thing?  There is more!  A whole lot more.  I think I’m going to ask Him….

There are things He’s waiting to do in ALL of our lives.  Do you find yourself in a dull place or a place where you don’t really want Him?  Are you in a place where you think there must be more, but you’re afraid that you will be disappointed because maybe you have all there is?  Do you have other things you love more than Him? Ask Him to change Your heart.  He desires it more than you do!  He’s not sitting there wondering what in the world is wrong with you and when you will get your act together.  He’s waiting for you to ask.  Do you not even want Him to change you, but want to want Him to?  First, we have to get honest with where we’re really at.  Sometimes we don’t even know how to do that.  Ask Him..He WILL come.  He knows our hearts and that is a comforting thing!  He knows what to do with it even when we don’t.  His love is what changes us.  Ask Him to show you His love for you.  He wants to show it to you more than you want to see it.  He is love, so to show us His love is to show us Who He is and what He’s about.  His love gives us perspective, calms our fears and makes us impossibly brave in the face of whatever life throws at us.  Not only that, but we begin to want what He wants, because we begin to see life and others more like He does.  He changes us.

Lord, Help me to know you more.  Be the driving force of my life.  Help me to want You more than anything else.   Open my eyes so that I can see You as You truly are and not as I think You to be.  

Ephesians 3:19-20 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is TOO GREAT to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish INFINITELY MORE THAN WE MIGHT ASK OR THINK.



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