Jon Foreman is a definite favorite of mine. He is the lead singer for the band Switchfoot. He writes challenging songs and articles. Sometimes they are pretty intense. Sometimes they are clever. Sometimes they are intense and clever (my favorite combo).
The other day, he tweeted “pray for the giver of the gift and not the gift itself.”
That’s an interesting concept right?
First, let’s start with gifts. Gifts are things we don’t need or deserve but people give us just to spoil us a little bit. Gifts from people serve the same purpose as gifts from God right? God does like to spoil us every once in a while just like our friends and family. Or maybe I’m just His favorite! Wait, God doesn’t have favorites so it must be that he spoils us all on (a sometimes frequent) occasion.
How much time do we spend praying and praying for God? Well I know I spend a lot more time praying about what I want God to give me. It’s like I have this ongoing wishlist with Him.You know, asking for things you want but don’t necessarily need. Things that just encourage your selfish nature? I am guilty to have prayed that prayer that I think every student prays at some point in their academic career: “Lord, PLEASE let it snow tomorrow so I don’t have to go to school. I’ll even take a two hour delay!”
Sure it may have helped me catch up on schoolwork (though really, who does school work on a snow day? If you’re going to do school work, you might as well go to school). But what if I had spent that time praying for God to meet with me. I mean, really meet with me? That would have been much more beneficial than just asking for a snow day or other “gifts.”
I know that usually, the more I ask for things I don’t need but just want (like the snow day), the further I feel God is from me. Well actually, the further I am from God would be more accurate.
Matthew 7:7 says
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
What if we read that in the context of this giver vs gift idea.
Ask for God and He will be given to you; Seek God and you will find Him; Knock and God’s door (as in to His house) will be opened to you.
3 steps we (not God) need to take:
1) Ask-Verbalize our desire to meet with God
2) Seek-Take some sort of action to find God and He will reveal Himself to us
3) Knock-Once we know where He is (from seeking), we must knock. We can’t just sit around on the porch waiting for God to come to us. We have to knock. Then, we will meet with God.
So to start with, I am going to be more intentional in my prayer life and be sure that my focus in on the giver and not the gifts. I need to make sure I’m asking for the right things (the giver not the gifts), seeking the right things (the giver of the gifts) and knocking on the right doors (the giver’s door).
Because really, for me anyway, every time God comes, He always seems to bring more happiness to my life which is more important and beneficial than snow days and other “gifts.”
So in case you missed it; pray for the giver of the gift, not the gift itself.