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This is not unspoken

“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?" (Matthew 7:7-8)

I know it is sometimes pretty hard to admit our true need, but try as we might to 'skirt the truth', the first step to seeing that need met could just be our admittance of that need. There are times we go all around the issue when we talk with our Lord, trying to get it out without really having to say what it is we are looking for in our meeting with him. We seem to want our need met, but we aren't being direct about what that specific need really is. This is one reason I cringe when someone says they have an unspoken prayer request. God can and does meet the 'unspoken' requests, but if the majority of our 'requests' are 'unspoken', we might need to ask ourselves why that is the case. 
Bargain with God and you may find the 'bargain' costs you more than you really ever intended to give. 

Do you know what it means to be 'direct' with God? It means we are open and sincere in our request. Open - not ambiguous, totally sincere, and thoroughly forthright. I might be a little blunt on occasion in how I say things, but truth doesn't need a whole lot of 'fanciness' to make it truth. It is plain, forthright, and to the point. Why should our requests be any less? If we notice what God says here, we aren't to always be asking for what we 'want', but rather for what we 'need'. It took me a long time to sort out my needs from my wants. I want a whole lot of things, but my needs are really quite simple, direct, and to the point! 

Bargaining suggests some form of 'haggling' with God. When I first went to Mexico, my friends told me not to pay the first price at the street marketplaces. I needed to 'haggle' with the vendor to get the best price I could. In a sense, I thought it was a little unfair to 'undercut' their price with a 'low-ball' price, but on occasion I knew they had given me a very high price as the initial price and I needed to ask for a more reasonable one. This doesn't work with God. We don't step into his presence with our need, hear what he asks of us, then offer something 'less' in hopes he will accept that offered 'price'. We hear what he asks, then we learn to trust him with our lives as we obediently step out in faith to do as he asks.

Prayer is just a fancy word for talking and listening. We talk a bit - openly, honestly, with forthright transparency. We listen a bit more than we talk - open to the leading we receive; not scheming to find another path than the one he directs. It takes a bit to learn how to enter into his presence this way, but once we figure out he has our best in mind, lovingly directing our lives even when we might not fully understand what he asks, we come away fulfilled. Just sayin!

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