As you all know, I am a very selfish person. And if you don’t know that, now you do.
Let me tell you a little bit about my little life. Recently, crap hit the fan in almost every aspect of that phrase. Life happened, and it sucked. Family problems, school problems, spiritual problems. Everything. It’s no bueno.
And as my life was spinning out of control, I found myself praying. Now, don’t get me wrong; this is a good thing. We are called to pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). However, my praying wasn’t exactly praying at all.
“I want this to go away, God. I need your help, God. Why is this happening, God? I don’t want this, God. I don’t want to feel this way.” See a trend? All of me prayers started with “I”. They were all focused on me.
After realizing this, God began to teach me something very important. Allow me to share with you what God taught me:
Even though I was talking to God, I wasn’t really praying. I was complaining.
So, after being slapped in the face with that brick of truth, I started praising God. My prayers started with “You”.
“You are God, and I will praise you even when I don’t feel like it. You created the world and still call me the crown of Your creation. You died for me. You accepted me. You split the sea, and You still think of me. You will take care of me.” That became my prayer.
When I looked in the mirror and thought “Ewww,” I snatched that lie right out of my head and threw it back to Hell where it came from. I repeated Psalm 139:14 over myself and to God, and you know what happened? Peace and joy happened, that’s what!
Suck it, Devil.
My point is, I learned something super important, and I think you need to learn it, too.
Praying isn’t just about asking; it’s mostly about praising.
You see, when I kept starting my prayers off with “I”, I kept believing that it was about me and that I was smack-dab in the center of the universe. I wasn’t looking at God’s power and faithfulness, but my own problems and circumstances. THAT is not good.
And when I was only looking at myself, well, I was completely blind to the God who would willingly provide me with peace and hope if I would just look to Him.
Here’s what I need to tell you: it is completely okay to run to God, lay your crap on the table for Him to see, and ask for His help. BUT it is equally important to leave it on the table, look up to your Father who is whispering, “Hey, I got this. Come here,” and walk away from your problems hand-in-hand with the God who has the power to change you and your circumstances. Got it? Great.
Praising is the basis of praying.
P.S. I created some handy-dandy flashcards with praise verses on them, if you'd like to grab them in the box below :)