Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day Twenty: Ask, Seek, Knock

"When you see the southern cross for the first time
You'll understand now why you came this way.
Cause the truth you might be running from is so small--
But it's as big as the promise, the promise of a coming day."
--"Southern Cross," Crosby, Stills & Nash

When we get where we're going, we'll know why we came this way. Interesting thought, huh?

I first heard Crosby, Stills & Nash in concert right before heading off on one of the bigger adventures in my life. I wasn't sure what was about to change, exactly, but I knew nothing would ever be the same. And these three guys, with their beautiful lyrics of hope and longing and loss, with the ambiguous spiritual undercurrent running through it all, connected me to God in a way that had never happened before. I remember that feeling: knowing that rough waters were ahead, perhaps, but that things would turn out okay.

Of course, I forgot all about this feeling the minute the rough waters hit...

Last night, I remembered it again. I'm taking part in a two-day workshop about how God can transform us if we let him. One of the main speakers was telling a story about searching for a house when he first moved to Boston. He'd almost settled for a grim little condo because so many people had told him it would be impossible to get anything at all in his price range. But when that deal feel through, a friend asked him, "Did you ever ask God for the house you want? You know--specifically?" He sheepishly admitted that he hadn't. But by that point it seemed crazy to ask God for something so much nicer than the grim condo he'd just lost out on. Nevertheless, he asked. "I'd like a place for a grill, God...and some yard for a garden." He also wanted to be near his son & daughter-in-law.

You know where this is going: today, he has a great little house a block from his family. He grills. His wife gardens in the yard.

This story totally busted me. I haven't been asking; not specifically, anyway. I've been praying in broad strokes, asking for vague "good things." Ugh. Sigh.

God invites us to MORE. He loves when we ask. So last night, I recalibrated. I asked. And I'm doing so again today. It takes some time, because there are a few different miracles I'm praying for. But if I'm on this ship headed for God's best for me, and I don't have to steer, that means I've got plenty of time to dream and pray about where we'll land.

Today, let's just do one chapter of Acts, as it's pretty intense. Acts 7. Stephen suggests that we tend to ignore (or kill) the people God sends to tell us where our ship is headed. Let's not do that anymore....

12 comments:

Liza said...

I've always been told to pray specifically for what I want, and I've really been trying to do that each day. However, I'm on the road and my schedule is off. Thanks for the reminder.

the teacher said...

i have noticed that when i pray specifically that i feel like i really am talking to God. when i have general prayers, i feel like i am just reciting the same thing and not thinking about or meaning what i am asking for.

about the scripture...i guess i feel like i look into things too far and wonder if God is trying to tell me things through other people. BUT i start analyzing and looking at things wondering if they are from God or just someone telling me bad advice and information. it is hard to tell until after i look back from going through something rough.

Sarakastic said...

besides the fact that praying specific prayers is just more fun

heiress said...

It's funny because yesterday I did the same thing. I wrote down all the things I wanted specifically from God. I folded each of them up and put them in a box. It seemed like when I wrote, it forced me to be more specific then when I just randomly pray.

mtranier2008 said...

wow! i just finished my daily quiet time and during that quiet time i journaled to God (i write my prayers to Him in my journal frequently) about my specific request, from what it might look like and when i would like it. and it wasn't like a violet from charlie and the chocolate factory, "i want it NOW daddy!" but more like, hey there Lord, i love you and i know you just love it when i ask you for specific things, so here it is. i trust you to do what you know to be best for me in this. thanks for listening and smiling at me :)

so then to come on here and read this entry, it was like the Lord saying, "yeppers, i'm smiling at you and so excited for the blessings i have for you my child."

praise the Lord! He is so good, so faithful and i am so thankful that He loved me first that i might love Him back :)

thanks for this blog Trish. it is a HUGE blessing :)

Natasha said...

Yes I was a broad prayer kinda girl, not anymore! Thanks Trish

Larramie said...

This journey of 40 Day continues to get better and better. Thank you,. Trish.

Nic said...

This is an interesting post. Sometimes I feel guilty about being too specific -- too demanding.

Stephanie said...

I'm going to be specific. What the hey. If what I'm praying for is not in his will than he can say no. No harm done!

Kim said...

I am trying to be specific and stop feeling guilty about it.I've been hung up thinking there are far greater issues in the world than my puny desire to be a published author. Also, I am so blessed by everything else He has given me, would He think I was an ingrate? But He does say to ask. So I have been asking specifically every one of these 20 days. And the real change is the hope. I'm busting with it. I just know that He is going to make this happen for me. And for all of us who ASK.

Suzanne said...

I hit a rough patch last week and so was offline for a few days. It's interesting that this message is nearly exactly what God was saying to me this weekend, be specific...and to also put it in His hands. Reading this post today, even though it's from Saturday, feels like an affirmation.

ForstRose said...

I try to be as sepcific as I can but right now I feel as if I am not sure of the specifics but I do trust that God knows better than I what the "perfect" answers to my dreams are. I am still discovering myself what fits and what doesn't in terms of jobs but again I do ask for the right position with the right co-workers and in the meantime He is providing me with friends and family who are helping me find ways of generating income as well as temp jobs to pay the bills. I don't always fully trust His faithfulness but at the same time I have experienced it and know I should and can trust it explicitly even when I'm not sure of the details of what I need or want. However the idea of actually writing things down as I fins myself discovering the specifics is a very good idea.

Melissa