It’s Worth Talking to God Over

Waiting on God’s Response

Talking to God and Prayer – Part 5

What have you learned recently about prayer?
Following a Sunday service, I bumped into one of our college students. She asked how I was doing and knowing that I have great insight about prayer, she then followed up with this question: have I learned anything recently on the subject? I responded, “I’m always learning something new about prayer.” As I got ready to walk away, I said as a matter of fact, I learned something new just yesterday. Can I share it with you?

Because I’ve Seen You Do It Before
In the state where we live, we have two college football teams that are big rivals. In fact, when you live in Alabama, you have to select one of these teams as your own. At any rate, during the recent rivalry game, I had given up on the game since my team had obviously been defeated going into halftime. The team had no answer offensively. That in itself can be a message on prayer. When was the last time you had an offensive prayer? Let me continue, we’ll talk about offensive and defensive prayers later. Leaving the game behind, I decided to do something useful and finish putting out our Christmas lights and decorations.

I need to insert something here before I continue. One of my favorite times and places to talk with God is outside while doing chores like mowing the lawn. In the same way I prepare for mowing the lawn, I prepared for placing the Christmas decorations.

In this moment, God spoke with me. He said, are you going to give up on your team? Next He said pray for them. By the way, it’s not unusual that I pray for the team I support. In fact, if you’re not praying for every facet of your life, you’re leaving God out of those areas. Remember, I’m a pray-er (person who prays). That’s what I do and I want it to be what you do. So I prayed. I wish that it was that simple and the story was over (but then again it is that simple). However, simple isn’t what happened, it wasn’t over so easy. After I prayed, my team got worse. Here it is, I’m talking to God, praying for my team, and the situation got worse. Have you ever been there?

We were now in the fourth quarter of the game and the score was 3-10 with right at three minutes left in the game. Needless to say, this seemed almost impossible. Then God says, do you believe that I can? I said I believe that you can. I said Lord this game is almost over and it’s looking pretty impossible, now with under 90 seconds left. Then He said, do you trust Me in this? Lord, sure because I’ve seen You do it before. Sometimes you need a reminder that He’s done it before.
It might not look like it’s possible…
It may seem like you’ve run out of time…
It may appear that you don’t have enough money…
Others might be telling you that you’re too young…
Others might be saying that you’re too old…
Let me remind you that regardless of the may’s and might’s, He’s done it before and can do it again.

With 24 seconds left on the clock… that will preach won’t it. With 24 seconds left on the clock, Alabama ties the game. When this occurred I was amazed? I went back outside just to say to God, that’s enough. I don’t need anything else in this moment. I’m convinced that talking to you is next level prayer. You’ve proven your point.
The game goes into overtime and it’s one that will go down in history as one of the most memorable games played. Needless to say, Alabama wins the game in the 4th overtime. Sometimes you have to be willing to see it through to the 4th quarter. Can you trust God even when it seems hopeless? Will you allow Him to talk to you when you’re losing and it seems like all is lost? Once this game went into overtime, I had no doubt who’d come out on top. I’d been talking to Jesus.

Wrong Perspectives About Prayer
What if someone from the opposite team was praying for their team to win?
Let me go back to the college student which is the reason I’m sharing this experience in the first place. When she heard this story, she said so what if someone on the opposing team prayed for their team in the same way? What makes your prayer supersede theirs? This question stomped me for a moment and then I offered two perspectives.

  1. We’re looking at prayer from the wrong lenses.
    She heard the word “prayed” and implied a common definition. She was focused on me asking God to help my team win a football game. That’s where the average and ordinary pray-er misses it. We are after our request being answered how we think it should be answered. Notice I didn’t say, answered favorably? A prayer answered favorably doesn’t mean it works out how we would like it to. In fact, talking to God implies you will take your eyes off of what you want so that He can share with you what He wants.

    Her focus was on whether or not a person on the opposite team prayed for their team. This statement is one that would be a deterrent to you offering the prayer in the first place. One can’t take such a chance. For example, if you’ve prayed for the report to come back negative to your COVID test, but it comes back positive, do you stop praying now that you have COVID? Me praying for the game came from me talking to God in the first place. When you talk to God and He gives you directives, this is next level prayer. I would never have prayed for the team again if it had not been for God’s directives and by the way, He already knew the outcome. Most people view prayer from the wrong lenses. You’re looking to get what you want rather than seeing what God wants for you.
  2. It was never about Alabama winning or losing.
    The prayer experience was never about the football game or whether Alabama would win or lose. It was about me having a conversation with God over something that was a part of my world. This lesson is one of talking to God versus praying. You can talk to God without praying, but you can not pray without talking to God. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the fact that my team won, but God enjoyed the conversation with me during a game. In fact, the game was better because I got to enjoy it with God, who gave me an amazing experience on top of an amazing experience. When was the last time you shared a sporting event with Jesus? When was the last time you shared an event or an experience with Him?

Next level prayer isn’t more about getting your request answered than it is having a dialogue with God.
Once the game was over, I mentioned to my wife what had occurred and she said are you serious? I responded, yes, I am. God taught me something today. We can enjoy every moment of life with Him if we allow Him. Listen to what happened to me. I was talking to God and He asked me to pray for the team. Have you ever considered talking to God about what’s happening and waiting on Him to give you His response?

After the game, I went back outside to continue the conversation and here’s the lesson God taught me. You can’t have it if you don’t ask for it. Most people will justify not asking for something, before justifying asking for it. In other words, we come up with reasons as to why we shouldn’t pray for something instead of finding every reason we should. The last thing God taught me, after this amazing game, was this. God has no shortages when it comes to supplying. He’s not limited in the number of asks you can make. There’s no daily withdrawal limits on Heaven. There’s no time restrictions on when you can make the next request. Just because you requested of God today doesn’t mean you have to wait until tomorrow for the next. This is next level prayer y’all!

Question: what if you’d never prayed? What if you decided that this isn’t worth talking to God over?

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