The “Step Back” Prayer

prayerhandsA man went to his doctor and said, “Doc, I’m listless, lie around a lot, and don’t feel like working.  What’s wrong with me?”

After checking him out the doctor said, “I’ll give it to you straight.  Your problem is that you’re lazy.”

The man replied, “OK, I can accept that.  Now could you give me a fancy medical term that I can tell my wife?”

The man wanted to know what was wrong with him, and he wanted to get better — sort of!  He’s not alone.

We want to overcome a weakness or be able to resist a certain temptation, but there’s part of us that enjoys it.  We know we should want to get closer to God but if we’re honest, we have to admit it’s not always a deep concern.  We know we should forgive a person who’s done us wrong, but we really don’t want to; we enjoy carrying a grudge too much.  What to do?

I’ve gained an important insight on how talk to God when my attitude or belief isn’t as holy or as strong as it should be.  It comes from a father who asked Jesus to give him more faith so Jesus would heal his son.  Before I share his prayer, let me show you how I apply his prayer to my own situation.

“Lord, part of me doesn’t want to give up that which is wrong in my life.  Help me to want to want to give it up.”

“Dear God, I don’t always want to draw near to you.  Help me to want to want to draw near to you.”

“Lord, I don’t want to forgive.  Help me to want to want to forgive.”

I call it the “Step Back” prayer.  If I can’t honestly pray for something with my whole heart and deepest conviction, I take it a step back and pray that I may want to want to do what God wants.  That’s a prayer I’m convinced God is anxious to answer.

“I believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”  A father’s request to Jesus in Mark 9:24


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: