I am smiling at my own title up there! Its a bit facetious, but mostly not.
Probably the most facetious part is that there are ONLY 3 strange prayers I pray! LOL
So, Let’s get right into it. I will start with the prayer that is probably one that, once you’ve heard it, you will be able to relate to completely. If not, well, then you are way more perfecter than me. Yes, I said perfecter. Not a type-o, I meant to spell it that way. 😉
The first prayer, I call my “Please Lord, make my axe head float!” prayer.
In 2 Kings 6:1-7 is a little story that I can totally sympathize with. It may be somewhat obscure… I’m not sure it is preached too often from many pulpits, but it is very powerful, and shows that God cares for the smallest details of our lives as well as the big ones.
Elisha was hanging with these “sons of the prophets” who took him out to the banks of the Jordan where they were trying to build a place where they could dwell. These sons of the prophets are mentioned in a few other places in the Bible. The most recent mention close to this passage was just a few chapters prior to this event; they were the ones who prophesied to Elisha that his master Elijah was about to be taken away from him in 2 Kings 2. They also searched for Elijah’s body for 3 days after it was taken away in the chariot of fire… and no, they didn’t find it, because… chariot of fire! … up to heaven!
Most Bible scholars believe they were a type of seminary group, to put it in today’s terms. Students. So, here is this school of seminarians, who want to build a dormitory, or some such building, on the banks of the Jordan river, and Elisha gives them his blessing. But, they also want his presence, so they ask him to go down with them as they build, and he does.
Now, here comes the good part!
They are all chopping down trees for the beams, and one young student – at least I like to picture him that way – is felling a beam when suddenly his axe’s head falls off and sinks to the bottom of the Jordan river.
“Alas, master! for it was borrowed!”
That’s the line! That’s the verse I have quoted or referenced in prayer so many times, I can’t count. Forget your “Prayer of Jabez,” lol, this is the prayer that speaks to me personally, because it is the story of my frailty, the story of my good intentions gone awry, or the story of an unintentional mishap that might adversely affect others, because, well…. I blew it!
Oh God, help me… it was an accident! My mistake shouldn’t hurt someone else! Please make it right… for them!
This poor young student had borrowed his friends axe; not a small commodity in those days as iron wasn’t easily come by. He was doing a great thing with that axe. A work for the Lord. A school for the sons of the prophets. No wrong in that! They had the blessing of God’s Prophet, Elisha! And yet, an unpredictable mishap. I can just hear that young man’s heart and soul cry! “How am I ever going to repay my friend for his precious and priceless tool that he loaned me?!” So much anxious emotion and despair I can hear in that open cry to Elisha. “Alas, Master! for it was borrowed!”
Elisha heard it too. I have no doubt. His response proves it. He could have said, oh well, I have much bigger things to do. I am God’s Prophet. I have leper’s to heal, and widow’s oil jars to fill; dead sons to raise, and wicked kings & queens to fight.
But he didn’t. He understood. GOD UNDERSTOOD. God used Elisha to perform a “small” miracle. A big miracle, if you ask me. Elisha asked where it fell, and on that spot in the Jordan river, Elisha laid down a stick he had cut. A stick. On the water. HA!
And then, that iron axe head floated. LOL! Truly! That story ALWAYS makes me giggle! Its so cool that its included in the Bible! It is there for me, personally, I know.
God cares about all of our lives. From the little bitty details, to the huge ones; He cares. I can attest that so many times, when I have had some type of mishap, or accidental mistake, especially when it would potentially hurt innocent others, I have prayed this prayer… “Lord please make my axehead float!” … and God has. I am so thankful! Sometimes, I may have to go through the consequences, and that I accept, but many times, God sees my sincere request, from my sincere heart, and helps me out. My axe head floats. Praise God!
Strange Prayer number 2
“God, help me to forget most of the ways you’ve used me.”
I want God to use me; want it with all my heart! I want to be a vessel He can use. I want Him to choose me when He’s looking for someone to use. Then I want to forget about it. Most of it, anyway.
Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount, are precious “go-to” chapters for me. I believe fully that they are great instructional chapters for Christians of all ages and levels of spiritual growth. It’s precepts are clear and straight-forward. The ones that come into play for me concerning this prayer are that you do your good deeds quietly, your prayers in your closet, your fasting secretly. You don’t brag or be puffed up about yourself, or what God may have used you to do. That is really important to me. I am no “big-deal” Christian, like Billy Graham, or Greg Laurie, or Beth Moore.. all Christian leaders I greatly respect. I am just “Suzie-housewife” mother and grandmother, and hopefully faithfully serving in my local small church-body and community. Just my “Jerusalem.” But I don’t want to remember it. Because I am afraid I might have the tendency to get puffed up. I might think “Oh look at me!” Hopefully not. I don’t really know if that’s in my personality spectrum, but I don’t want to find out. So a long time ago, I prayed that prayer, sincerely and honestly, and I do believe that God has honored it. I have a TERRIBLE memory. Sometimes, I even pray…. when I’m feeling a bit discouraged… God, remind me of a little bit more!
I love that old song by Ray Boltz. “Thank You For Giving To The Lord”
It speaks of a man who gets to Heaven and people, strangers to him, keep coming up to him and thanking him for being a faithful servant of God. They are a life that is changed in part thanks to him. The man in the song seems awestruck, because he didn’t know his good works (through Jesus) had gone that far. That’s what I want too… to be so very pleasantly surprised that God used me in ways I knew nothing about! No tears in heaven? I’m sure I will be crying my eyes out, if that happens to me! In a good way of course!
And now for the third prayer. (Not for the squeamish!)
Every time I hear about some big public Christian, or even not so big, who has fallen into sin, it makes me cringe. I know, “there, but for the Grace of God, go I.” But they had access to that Grace too. I am not judging. I pray for them. Pray that they can be restored, or renewed. But it breaks me up inside. I think, didn’t they count the cost? Didn’t they think about the reproach it would bring on our Savior’s name? On their family, on themselves? On their ministry? I don’t ever want that.
I am not big and public. I am just little old me. But I do have a husband, a family, a community around me. I have my Christian integrity that I value as important, and I have been trying to stay true to, for more than 40 years. I don’t want to big-time blow it! I want to walk the walk and talk the talk and not be called a liar. I don’t want Christ’s name to be “muddied” by my actions. I don’t want to make any of my brothers or sisters stumble because I fell from the path.
Now, I am still a sinner. A forgiven sinner; a redeemed sinner; but still prone to sin. I’m not talking about the “little” sins that we all fall prey to everyday. I’m talking about the “big” public, ministry damaging sins that alter the course of your outreach. The sexual sins, the moral corruption sins, the on-purpose, knowing full well what the damage could be if you were found out, type of sins that bring down ministries, big or small. Romans 2:21-24 speaks to this. Verse 24 says “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you as it is written.” -This was due to the hypocrisy of the ones Paul was talking to in the previous verses. The hypocrisy in followers of God is probably the reason given the most by unbelievers, as to why they want nothing to do with Christianity. And, even in some believers who have left the church.
So what is my prayer?
That if I were ever really going to do something like that; something that would bring reproach on my Savior, my husband, my family, my ministry… that God would take me Home. Before I did it. And only if I were really going to do it. (Of course!)
Yes, I would truly rather go Home to Heaven than hurt the name of Christ. I am counting the cost. It is too much. I wouldn’t want to pay for that. I wouldn’t want my family to pay for that. I would rather die.
God knows my heart, and He knows it is true. And since He has honored my other 2 strange prayers, I fully believe that He would honor this one too. Thankfully God knows the desire of my heart, and that is to walk in close fellowship with Him. In integrity & true loving friendship with Jesus. I am in Love with my Savior, and Love keeps you on the right path.
Now, I know that every one of those Christian’s who have fallen can be restored. God is the God of the second chance. Third, fourth, 490th.
But I have chosen to pray this prayer to keep me in check before I am even tempted to do something regretful of that magnitude. It is how I’ve chosen to pray, and to “resist the devil,” and take it serious enough that I won’t even entertain such potential temptation in my life. It works for me.
Maybe this prayer should be taught in classes for those going into full time Christian ministry. 😉
So, there you have it. My 3 strange prayers that I pray, and have prayed for decades or more. I do believe God honors intense, heart-felt prayers, even if they are somewhat different. If they are truly for His Glory, and for His Purpose, and geared to help us grow in Him. Are these prayers you could pray? That is for you and God to decide. 🙂
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