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Do you keep your options open?

I have been guilty of being more than a little mamby-pamby in my prayers at times. I sort of, kind of, might of asked for this or that, but what I really needed and wanted to ask for was something totally different! Why do we find ourselves being wishy-washy in our prayers? It might just be that God is waiting for us to get totally forthright with him before he gets forthright with the answer we so desperately need!

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. (James 1:5 MSG)

God doesn't delight in us not knowing what steps to take next. He doesn't like to keep us in limbo, jostling for this or that, hoping for the best. In fact, he wants to bring clarity, give bold direction, and see it embraced with determined faith. If you have ever asked someone you respect for some help and had them laugh at you because you did, you may not go back to that individual the next time you need some help, right? I need to ask - just how many times has God laughed in your face when you bring him your need? So, why do you not openly and honestly share you concerns?

We've talked about this before - there are indeed times when God knows what we are asking for is something we are not ready to receive in our lives, or when what we ask for is going to harm us if we get it. The answer we receive may not be exactly as we planned it to be, but let me assure you - God knows our hearts better than we do! He knows how we will 'handle' what he gives much better than we do. We need to be bold in our requests - coupled with being reasonable when what we receive is a little different than we imagined it might be.

The thing we need to see from this passage is that there will always be times when we face things bigger than we imagined, challenging us beyond our expectations, and we need to know what to do when we are in those circumstances. God gives us common sense to help us with the stuff we do from day to day - like knowing to get off a freeway that is congested and take surface streets so we won't be late to work. We don't need God to miraculously clear the freeway of those 5,000 cars ahead of us, we just need to leave for work on time, be cognizant of the traffic conditions, and make adjustments as we face challenges.

Common sense is a good thing - some might even say it is a God-thing. We are given insight through our experiences and things we have learned along the way. There are going to be times when our insights are just not enough. We come to God boldly with these needs and he isn't going to be shy about answering us. We need to be attentive to the answer, obedient to the things he tells us to do, and then trust him with the outcome. Don't be mamby-pamby with your requests, but don't be too bullheaded to embrace what he tells you to do, either! Just sayin!

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