“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.” Eph 2:8-9
I’ll never forget the first time I prayed for something and didn’t get it. I was so angry. I felt like God had lied to me somehow, not living up to this bargain we’d cut: I do as You ask, You bless me as I ask. I treated God like an employer, and I was now being withheld the wages I was due. I felt justified in my mindset, as that’s how I see pop culture approach God as well, characters with their fists raised, exasperated, listing all their “good deeds,” and asking what more God wants from them.
How quickly we forget that prayer is meant to be a dialogue, not a list of demands; an avenue through which we get to know God, and build our assurance that He knows us. Unfortunately, most prayer sounds a lot like, “Do __, give me __, help me __.” This is not the language of grateful children accessing love and grace, but entitled ones, ready with their lists to show God why they deserve what they’ve asked for. Today, we open up this bad habit and sense of entitlement and raise our hands in worship.
The practice of worship puts the focus back on God instead of on me. When we focus on His goodness, lovingkindness and mercy, we can’t help but fall on our knees. We treat the blessings in our lives as the free outpouring of love and grace that they are and view our petitions as expressions of trust, where we reveal our deepest desires to the Father. Through worship, we position ourselves to have our entitlement mindset transformed into one of gratitude.
Take some time to worship, praising God not only for what He’s done for you, but for who He is. Write it in the space below as your own personal expression of gratitude.
Father God, You are good, and in that goodness, You consider me. I recognize that there is nothing I can do to earn more of your love or deserve more blessing. Forgive me for trying to leverage my own good works to gain what I feel owed from You. Hold me in your grace, that as I expose my deepest desires to you, I am filled with assurance of Your love and reminders of Your kindness. Thank you for dealing so tenderly with me and my sense of entitlement. Amen