The Relationship

November 29, 2013
by Julie Bowles

Matthew 6:9-13 – This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not in temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (NIV)

What if my prayers always started with "Lord, I trust You to provide me with what I need", rather than "Lord, this is what I want"?

As I have moved along in my walk and my relationship with Jesus over the past twelve years, I am still learning what it means to be in a personal relationship with Him.

In the past, my prayers would sound like this:

  • Lord, give me patience.
  • Lord, change that person.
  • Lord, I cannot do this anymore.
  • Lord, make it better for me.

From each of these types of prayers, I have seen the following answers:

  • The Lord has put people into my life who try my patience, thus teaching me to have patience and also grow in my relationship with Him.
  • The Lord has made changes in me that help me to accept that person for who they are and not who I think they should be. Again, there was growth in my relationship as Jesus accepted me for who I was. He didn't wait until I was all together before He called me to be His own.
  • The prayer has changed to "Lord, help me! I cannot do it alone." This is a great relationship of prayer between us, and is, at times, a moment-by-moment prayer.
  • The Lord has brought people into my life with whom I can talk and pray and make it better for them. Being humbled changes me and makes it better for me.

I work in the developmental services field, and I have always held to the belief that I work in a "do with" not "do for" field. I recognize that we all need help in some areas of our life, so with a "do with" attitude, we both grow. My walk and my relationship with the Lord is also developing this way. Rather than a "do for me, Lord", I want a "do with me, Lord" attitude.

Colossians 1:17 – He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the desire for a relationship that You have put into our lives. It is through Your Holy Spirit that we can come to You. Left to our own devices, many of us would say that we can do it alone, which we can't. Help us daily to show Your love to others and to help to bring them into a relationship with You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Julie Bowles <julieanni@rogers.com>

Barrie, Ontario, Canada


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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    AMEN!


    Wonderful thoughts Julie.


    I am surprised at thoughts of tampering with the Lord’s Prayer. Was this given to Jesus at a request of his disciples? It covers all our needs and the responsibility of forgiving others if we expect to be forgiven. Our daily bread covers all our needs. I may have misunderstood your message so can you please correct me.


    Well said, Julie. I can totally relate to these sentiments (and the repercussions) after having worked in social services.
    It truly is easy to judge rather than love, but God does show us when the time is right that we need to change too.
    Love your messages of hope and encouragement.


    Thanks, Julie! God is always present, willing to enable us – if only we would remember and actually live in that strength!
    One verse which is a constant challenge to me is John 14:12. Jesus says that “the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the father.”
    Your growth in prayer will be a great example and encouragement to others today, I’m sure!
    (BC)


    Dear Julie:
    What an inspiring message, once again illustrating to us how the Lord has made you a more compassionate and disciplined person under His never ending care and guidance. It has been a pleasure to watch you in spirit and wisdom under the guidance of your Maker and Redeemer. Your life and dedication to your Lord and His faithfulness to you has been a marvelous illustration proving, once again, how Great our God really is.
    Thank you for sharing your Christian growth with us.


    Julie
    I like the direction of your reflection – and would take it a bit further.
    It seems to me that Christian prayer often sounds like a shopping list – perhaps even like a child’s Christmas wish list – even a set of demands – as if God is a grand Santa Claus in the sky who will give us what we want/demand if we are good enough and/or if we pray hard enough.
    Rather, I think, prayer offers us the opportunities to share our celebrations and hurts, our wants, needs, and longings with One who companions us in our seeking and our struggles, as well as in our joy.
    So my wording of you sample prayer would be –
    Lord, I really struggle when it comes to containing my impatience, and it helps to know that you are infinitely patient with me.
    Lord, I really struggle with wanting my friend to be the kind of person I would like him to be – and I know that you accept him and me just as we are. It helps at least a bit to know that.
    Lord, I am at the end of my rope. But I know you are there with me.
    Lord, I would like it if you could make it better for me. At the same time, I know that only I can make it better – and that you are with me every step of the way. Thank you Lord.
    (AB, CANADA)

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