What Does it Look Like to Invite God into the Situation?
Despite devoting my hobbies, career, life, etc. to God I am still puzzled as to why the last thing I want to do is pray. Sure I pray 1st thing in the morning as I "should," but I am talking about the times when it would a great idea to get God's input. If I am honest- it's because deep down I believe God takes too long to answer (more than naught) and then there is that whole thing of not getting what I asked for. Yes, deep down even though I know that God knows best I still find myself just avoiding Him because:
"What good does it do to pray? He is going to do what He wants anyway? And it's probably something that will benefit everyone else, not me."
We have heard so much about prayer:
It is the key that unlocks the power and purpose of God.
We must pray consistently, fervently, and expectantly.
We have even heard that prayer is the only thing we can do in certain circumstances.
I would not dare attempt to debunk or debate teachings on prayer however I would like to add that prayer can also come in a form of invitation.
So where do we start? Here is some information (basic and a bit more traditional).
Creative Way to Invite God Into Your Situation
(read this section only if you have a sense of humor, the traditional instructions immediately follow)
There are some things that all invitations should include. You should always let your guest know the purpose of the invitation (casual hangout or formal request):
Lord I woke up again this morning, so come and celebrate with me!
Where: Right Here In My Bedroom...Beware of Morning breath!
When: Right Now
I know You are always there but I hope to see/feel/hear you there!
request the pleasure of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
at a doctors appointment on
on Saturday, February eighteenth
at 10 o'clock
There are other things that can be included as well.
Whether or not your guest may bring someone else
I like to let God know who He can send to help. I like to offer suggestions like my Spiritual Director, best friend, pastor, etc. I know that this might sound presumptuous but it really does help me to be on the lookout and expectant.
He doesn't always listen of course but I find I get a nice chuckle out of this one.
Special instructions specific to the event (i.e., in lieu of learning patience I request knowledge/experience concerning blessings, grace, etc. )
RSVP request ( I explain to God that this request is not about impatience but rather just helps me plan)
DO NOT include Gift registry information (apparently that has been labeled as tacky?)
How to Invite God Into Your Situation (Traditional)
At some point, you’ll have to face the hard stuff that you want to control but can’t. You will find that daily surrender is a critical part of the Christian life.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. (Luke 9: 23-24)
2. Read Your Bible
You’ll find God in His word, and you have to know where He is if you want to send an invitation.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).
(It is possible that the term "word" is used the same manner as does the Old Testament - the communication of God to humanity. This is exactly what Jesus did - He revealed to the world the Word of God. Jesus was the personification of the written and spoken Word. In the Old Testament God revealed His word through the prophets while in the New Testament the word of God was revealed in a Person - God the Son. --www.BlueLetterBible.org )
3. Invite God to EVERYTHING
Inviting God into your daily life could require a familiarity/practice of spiritual disciplines.
Regular prayer and reading your Bible are two disciplines but there are several more.
Just like real muscles, spiritual disciplines are only strengthened through proper exercise, nutrition, and use. You will need those muscles (memory, strength, endurance) when that
Like when that truly irritating person frustrates you on social media or to remember to invite God into the situation when you hear sirens or screaming in the distance.
Calling upon God throughout your day is one way that your mind becomes fixed on “things that are above.” And your joy, along with your faith and your “spiritual muscles” begin to increase.
Inviting God into your daily life sounds easy, but it's not always simple for some reason. But don't get discouraged; we all have our "stuff" we have to overcome. Mine, for example, is my penchant for thinking that God ignores some of my invitations. Yes, I know that is not true, but it takes work sometimes to keep from slipping into that type of harmful mindset. For others, it may be a belief that the invitations cost too much...too much discipline, too much time, too much brain/and or will power, etc. As usual, one of the hardest parts is bypassing our flesh and implementing some discipline.
Yes, it would be best if you were consistent, but you probably won't be at first. And yes, you will have to be forgiving when things don't go your way because they won't. And you'll have to remember to rejoice in the small things as well as the vast victories. And if you find you just don't have the strength, the tenacity, or even the want-to, invite God to help you with that too.