First Lutheran Church Plainville, Kansas
Peace Lutheran Church Natoma, Kansas
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Are you in school or out of school? Are you working or are you retired? Are you married? Do you have children? Where do you live?
You may not have the exact dates and times for the above questions, but you probably have at least thought them through and answered them in your own way. Some of those answers may be based in reality; others may be based more in hope.
But allow me to ask you another question; what do you pray for in 5 years?
That probably sounds a little odd to your ears, not because you do not believe it, but because that is not how we have trained ourselves to pray.
Indeed we tend to pray only for the things we need immediately. You pray for the food you are about to consume in the next 10 minutes. You pray that the child to be born any day now will be healthy. You pray for a godly spouse when you have decided that you are at a point in your life when you should get married. You pray for rain when you notice the grass turn a certain shade of brown. You pray for a good grade on a test when you realize that you do not know the lesson as well as you should.
Now do not misunderstand me; God hears all prayers. He hears the prayers for the things that you want right now, and He hears the prayers for the things that you would like to happen in the future.
But there is a problem with our approach to only praying for the immediate. We pray for things only after all of our efforts have failed. We pray for money and financial stability after our efforts to earn and save money have failed. We pray for a godly spouse only after our failed efforts to find a spouse. We pray for obedient children only after we have discovered that our children are not so obedient. We pray for good grades only after we realize that we have not studied as much as we should.
And that is where we fall short. Prayer is not a last minute cord that we pull and find ourselves instantly rescued from all dangers and temptations; nor is prayer a magic lamp that houses a genie who will grant all of our wishes. Prayer is a constant, ongoing communication between you and God; in which you constantly admit that you have fallen short of His glory, and seek His grace and mercy, not just in the present, but in the future as well.
For prayer is a recognition that God does not just work on things at the very last minute, but that He is constantly at work in our lives, not just in the here and now, but in the future as well.
So when you pray, take a moment to pray for those future things as well. Pray that your child, whether infant, grade school or high school, would one day find a godly spouse. Pray that you would master a lesson from the beginning, and not just when it is time to take a test. Pray that you would be led into a vocation that would be pleasing to God and rewarding to you personally. Pray that your retirement years would be joyful, even though they may be several years away. Pray that the Lord of heaven and earth would direct and guide you all the days of your life.
God Bless! Pastor Schmidt