Okay so this is not my usual ODG post in that it’s not a specific quote but actually a series of quotes or principles that Amy Carmichael had on prayer. Amy Carmichael was a missionary to India who was quite an interesting lady. She lived from 1867 to 1951 and spent most of her career in India helping children that had been and were being sold into slavery and prostitution in the temples. She relied on prayer, as we all should, and had a very direct and simple approach to prayer. When I read these three simple statements I was amazed at how obvious her approach was. I am writing them as they are written in the book “10 People Every Christian Should Know” by Warren Wiersbe and then adding my own thoughts.
1. “We don’t need to explain to our Father things that are known to him.”
I guess you could take this to the extreme and say “well God knows everything so what’s left to say” and technically that would be true. I don’t think that’s what Amy is getting at here. We tend to spend a lot of time in prayer setting up the scenario and making sure God understands all the little details so he knows exactly what were talking about. Cause you know God is busy, he gets lots of prayers, you don’t want him confusing your prayer with someone elses “so be specific!”. I think the key here is He is our Father, he knows what we need before we ask and yet still wants us to ask. He loves to hear our voice. He wants to hear our requests, answer our prayers, comfort and protect us. He doesn’t need our explanations he wants to hear our heart!
2. “We don’t need to press him, as if we had to deal with an unwilling God.”
“God this is really really important, I really really need your help right know if you could just please do this for me”. A little exaggerated but sometimes you have to admit this is how our prayers sound. It’s like were hoping God cares enough to answer our prayer instead of being confident in the knowledge that God has promised to take care of our every need. God is waiting and willing to hear and answer every need and prayer we could ever place before him, we don’t have to convince him to listen. He is definitely not an unwilling God!
3. “We don’t need to suggest to him what to do, for he himself knows what to do”
Do you ever find yourself in prayer trying to give God a good idea? I’m certainly guilty of this. God knows the beginning from the end, nothing takes him by surprise, our suggestions have little effect in changing God’s mind. I personally am very grateful for that, I don’t really want a God who relies on my counsel. I think the better approach is the humble “Lord what would you have me do?” than the “Lord this is what you should do!” that is so much part of our human nature. Trust Him that he knows what is the best for you, and then of course, listen.
Prayer is such an essential part of our christian walk. It should be something we are constantly seeking to do. My prayer life is something that I know needs to improve. Life is busy and we tend to not do the thing that can give us comfort and guidance in dealing with that busy life. I think these three simple principles can help us to focus on meaningful prayer that will draw us closer to the heart of God and open our hearts to his love and presence.
GOD is GOOD!!!