When speaking about prayer, we often hear about many different spiritual disciplines and ways to grow in one’s prayer life. Not necessarily a spiritual discipline, but more of a philosophical model is the acronym of “PUSH” – Praying Until Something Happens. Though I find myself recognizing how this intends to bring into focus the importance of prayer, I also think it sets up a frustrating ideal for anyone who might subscribe to this model of thought. Of course, God calls for us to call upon Him in prayer for all things. We must be honest about our needs and our wants, yet also realize that God answers according to His good and gracious will, even if that means that we must wait for His work in our lives. Setting up an expectation that “something happens,” however, feels like we are not allowing our Lord to do His will, but instead setting an expectation for Him to fit our will above His. In doing this, we then set ourselves in opposition to the purpose and work of God in our lives and seemingly fall into the trap that we once fell in the Garden – that we desire to know good and evil rather than trusting our Lord’s knowledge to be greater than our own.
As we enter the season of Lent, which is a time where we often focus on prayer, perhaps our best spiritual discipline would be to trust in our Lord and His promises, even as prayer impacts our lives. Perhaps, the Word spoken by the Psalmist shall be a more fitting way to think of our lives of prayer than any acronym. Perhaps, in trusting the Lord, His Word should become a part of our prayer, not concerned about what will happen, but knowing that He is already living and active in our lives. For whatever we need in prayer, God makes clear what we should do as we await His will: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a). Perhaps, in knowing Him, our comfort can be found not in “praying until something happens,” but rather praying in stillness.
Peace & love in Jesus,