And it really resonated with me.
"When the motivating factor in your prayers is self-interest, you may find yourself more and more frustrated and disappointed by the results....
"... Sometimes we treat prayer as a bargained-for exchange: if you spend a few seconds asking God for stuff, He’ll grant your wishes."
That's totally me, unfortunately. I needed this smack upside the head, this gentle reminder.
I pray the Lord's Prayer every single day and I go from there to "Thank you" for everything He's given me and then I totally continue to "And here's the list of stuff I'm asking for."
I always forget to say "Amen." I get distracted by other things, like the gym, like work, like writing. When I remember I forgot to say "Amen," I immediately take up where I left off in the Asking For Stuff list, and then I get distracted, and the whole thing starts all over again.
"Expect to discover your God-given purpose when you spend time in His presence. Expect to be filled with an unbelievable amount of peace despite whatever situation is railing around you. Expect to experience an unexplainable joy in the midst of external hardships and internal doubts. Come before God with expectancy in your heart and watch Him satisfy your ever need. But be open to the God of the universe satisfying your needs in ways that exceed your expectations or desires. He knows best."
That doesn't sound like a tall order, but it totally is for me. Spending time in His presence is hard for me, because #1, all the ways that are usually described of how to spend time in His presence are things I kinda recoil at, thinking that it sounds so unbearably cliche, "listening to worship music" I don't like most worship songs. "sitting in complete silence in a private place" I've got stuff to do. and #2, when I do try to spend time with God, I expect instant results, and He doesn't work like that. Hence, the name of this blog. God Is Patient, I Am Not.
I've gotta be better, I've gotta try harder, which is coincidentally the anti-thesis of the whole Christianity thing anyway - it's not about your works, it's about your faith.
All I can say is Thank God He's patient with me. Because man, I am pretty much a disaster, ho ho ho.