Photo by Kevin Sequeira, (2015) via Stocksnap Photo by Kevin Sequeira, (2015) via Stocksnap

When my kids try to tell me what to do, it usually doesn't end well. Sometimes I can tell there is a playful spirit behind the bossiness and I joke right back, but occasionally (well, more than occasionally) it turns sour fast. The arms get crossed. The finger gets pointed. The brow furrows. Then when one of them says, “You need to…” Ooh! It gets right under my skin.

Remember this popular scene from scripture?

Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." Luke 10:40

I wonder how Jesus felt when Martha decided to tell him what he should care about and what he should do. Any normal person would say, “Who do you think you are?” But we know Jesus is anything but normal. He knew Martha’s heart; it was drawn to serve. He loved her, but he still corrected her priorities. Knowing and loving him is more important than anything.

It would be an opportunity for real spiritual growth for us to take a look at the parts of our lives where our priorities are out of order and where, as a result, we are trying to tell God what to do and what He should care about.

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It’s so easy to do. Isn’t it?

I recently added a screened enclosure to my back patio. As much as I enjoyed opening my back door to a big cement slab, I figured I’d spruce the place up a bit. Then… Hurricane Matthew reared its ugly head. Fortunately, I live on the west coast of Florida, so there wasn’t too much to be concerned about, but I did find myself praying, Lord! I just got this thing installed. I’ve only made two payments. PLEASE don’t let a tree fall on it! Not that our wonderful, caring Father doesn’t invest in the little things, but what if I had started my prayer with, Lord, please keep my children safe from this storm. Please protect the homeless. Please be with with the people who have nowhere safe to evacuate to.  Sounds a little bit more like the heart of a loving Father, huh?

Is there something high on your list that is influencing the way you pray and what you pray about? Is there anything that might be clouding your vision of what is important? At the deepest level, like Jesus reminds Martha, our desire should be to be with him. I have a feeling if we really work on that, the rest will fall into place and our prayers will truly reflect what God desires.

Copyright 2016 Abby Brundage