For months, maybe even years, I have been petitioning heaven for a very specific thing. I would pray for it on purpose and in passing. I would pray for it out loud and whisper it in the recesses of my heart. And a funny thing happened last week. The thing I had been praying for showed up at my door.
And just like a kid who asks for a puppy for Christmas, I was completely unprepared. I hadn’t set aside the space or time for this thing I thought I so desperately wanted.
I believe in an omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God who steps into the natural world yielding supernatural results. And yet, I wasn’t acting like it at all. I was praying without preparing.
Blessings often come with responsibilities. Praying for a new house is silly if you can’t maintain your apartment. Praying for a car is not smart if you can’t afford to put gas in it. What would you do with those things when you got them?
Surely, I’m not the only one who has prayed and been caught off guard when the answer arrived. Early in church history, a small congregation gathered together to pray for deliverance of their pastor, who had been arrested. As they prayed, a servant girl named Rhoda answered a knock at the gate, and was surprised to hear the voice of her pastor. Why was she surprised? Was this not the very thing they had been asking God for at the time?
We all have heard that faith without works is dead. Well, Praying without preparation is duplicitous. It is saying that you believe with your lips, but not with your life. We ought to pray without ceasing… and prepare to receive without contingency.
That is my challenge for you today. Ask and prepare to receive.