Prayers in the Drive Thru Line

I call it fast food Christianity. Offering your prayer request through the ordering microphone. Expecting an answer in the amount of time it takes to drive up to the window. And of course it will be just the way you ordered, I mean prayed, and if it is not as you requested, you will go to the Manager and complain.

If you can easily see the flaws of this life and think you already know what this devotion is about, don’t stop reading yet. Even devoted Christians can suffer from Drive Thru Prayer Syndrome.

Sometimes I am fearful that our fast paced, “fast food” lifestyle, has seeped into the way we view our faith. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it shall be given to you.”  So in obedience to our Father, we do just that. We ask.

My daughter is a recording artist and last year my husband and I took out a 0 percent loan to finance the recording of her first professional CD. Even at zero percent, this was a tough thing for me to do, because I hate debt. But after I prayed about it, I really felt that I was to trust God on His way to pay off this loan. So I went into the plan with peace.

Have you ever felt the peace of God in your heart one day, and then felt it evaporate the next? Our fleshly human nature can cause that. It didn’t take long for me to think that the sooner I could pay this loan the better. I reminded myself that I had lots of useful skills, so why not use them to help alleviate this financial burden?

“Ask and it shall be given to you.”  So I asked. I asked God to find me some contract writing work and that all the money would go to pay off the loan. In 15 minutes I received an email from a former co-worker, someone with whom I had not spoken in years. He wondered if I would be interested in some contract writing work.

Wow. God was answering my prayers super fast; almost as fast as the fast food drive thru.

So, of course, I took the job. But what I seemed to forget is that I already had another job, a really important full time job, working at WTLW TV-44, which on most weeks requires more than 40 hours a week. I also seemed to forget that I had a family who wanted to spend time with me.

But I was determined. I was focused. I wanted to be debt free. And God had answered my prayers in 15 minutes. It just had to be.

Well, it had to be, all right. It had to be a lesson, a lesson I didn’t want to learn. 2 months later I was fired for not getting the work done on time. Remember, my plate was already way too full before taking this extra work. Because payment came only at the culmination of a contract, I did not get paid. And I lost a lot of late nights trying to write when I was way too tired from all of my required wife, mom, and work tasks from earlier in the day.

I prayed. 15 minutes later I had an answer. The problem is, I was praying my will be done not Thy will be done.  Ask and it will be given to you.

But there’s more to that verse. “Seek and you shall find.” I asked before seeking the direction of God. One is not optional. They go hand in hand. Instead of asking God to pay off the debt the way I envisioned, I should have asked,  Is this what you want for me God? What are your plans? I want to walk down your path only. Show me the way.

Mathew 7:7-11 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

What are you struggling with today? In what area is God asking you to be patient, or maybe to be silent? There is a lot of Biblical truth to asking, but don’t forget the equally important Biblical truth in seeking. Before you jump to conclusions and think you know how to solve a perceived problem, seek God’s clear direction. Forget about the drive thru expectation and think of prayer as a 5 course meal at a 5 star restaurant. The wait may be much much longer, but in the end, you will never regret the answer He gives you.

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