In open waters, every shade of blue surrounds me, and I'm treading water in the darkest hues. The glorious expanse of the ocean overwhelms me, but equally, it excites me. For just beneath, life flourishes. Diving deeper, a shimmer of gold lures me. Hours go by in my treasure seeking, and I surface with a handful of gold. Though there is more to be found, daylight escapes, as the sun greets the horizon. Tomorrow will be another day though. Treasures await me in the open waters.
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.”
Psalm 119:18-20, ESV
Almost a year ago, a simple prayer was uttered among a string of requests: “God, give me a hunger for your Word.” It became a continual request, out of many, that I asked for. And then, as weeks and months began to unfold, I came to realize that God answered my prayer—
I've never been so hungry in my life.
The vast expanse of both Old and New Testament overwhelms me, but equally, it excites me. My hands flip through worn pages, and shimmers of gold lure me. I study deeper to seek God, his heart, and his desires. I'm so hungry to know his truth.
My prayer request, though simple, was different than others. It carried the aroma of eternity. It was a prayer boldly spoken, fueled by purpose, in accordance with God's will. Knowing my purpose impacted my prayer. I was made to seek God, (Acts 17:26-27) and I simply asked for a hunger to seek him.
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus spoke a different prayer, right before his crucifixion. Jesus knew his purpose on earth, and it influenced how he prayed.
“And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, 'Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'”
Mark 14:35-36, ESV
Jesus asked for different circumstances, but in his request, he also affirmed the sovereignty of the Father. He knew his purpose was to glorify the Father, (John 17:1).
Many times I pray for different circumstances too, yet unlike Jesus, I don't pray with my purpose in mind. Instead, I beg God for temporary relief from unpleasant circumstances. My focus is almost always on selfish gains rather than eternal worth. My prayers would be very different if I prayed with a renewed sense of purpose in mind.
“God, be glorified through my hardship.”
“Spirit, empower me to respond with joy.”
“Father, remind me of your promises.”
More of an eternal mindset is what we all need. A renewed sense of purpose will greatly impact our prayers, directing our gaze towards him. Join me as we renew our mind in the Word, asking God to grow us in prayer. For the next two weeks, I invite you to learn more about the many purposes God has for you. Download the two-week study, “What's My Purpose?” to complete at your leisure by clicking here.