“Spiritual lust: going to God to get something from him instead of going to him just to be with him.” — Oswald Chambers

Genesis 5:22-24
Exodus 33:9-11
John 15:14-15

I prayed this morning. No, I didn’t quite pray; I unloaded. Some people have those deep prayers where they sit and listen for God. The late Mother Teresa, when asked what she said when she prayed, replied, “Nothing. I just listen.” When asked what God said, she replied, “Nothing. He just listens, too.”

That’s beyond me.

My method: pour everything out on God for some cathartic relief.

Praise? I don’t really do that. I spend so much time telling God all these needs I have that I can’t remember his goodness for listening to all of my selfish requests.

Thanks? I’ll do that a few times. In the midst of, “Bless so and so,” I sometimes feel a bright gratitude for some loved one, and I then offer up an affectionate but inadequate, “Thank you so much for this person,” because that’s all I can muster in the midst of my joy and poorly prayed prayers.

I ask. I ask some more. And I keep asking. Please bless this person. Please fix this in me. Please heal this situation. Please make this person strong. Please tell this person who they really are. Please draw this person to you. Please bless me. Please bless her. Please bless him.

Sometimes I write my prayers down. This please bless-ing occupied about two-and-a-half journal pages.

Somewhere, somehow, a new thought arrived, and it opened up my mind for the day. Despite its subtle onset it was revolutionary.

How might I bless God? Might just approaching God to be near him make him feel blessed? Might giving to him of myself be the blessing I can confer?

A scene in the film, “Bruce Almighty” illustrates this desire of God. Bruce, played by Jim Carrey, asks God, “How can you make someone love you without affecting free will?”

God replies, “Welcome to my world, son. If you come up to an answer with that one, let me know.” In the midst of all I desire and need, perhaps all he desires and needs is my love.

Jesus tells us we’re his friends, and God spoke to Moses as a man speaks to his friend.  God walked with Adam in the garden, and he had a close friendship with Enoch. God wants to be friends with us. That’s what the scriptures and the teachings of Jesus tell us.  If we’re friends, I need to pull up a chair to this table of friendship.  I typically just drop a request in the comment box.  Actually, I drop about fifty a day, and I don’t offer up any….offers. I never sit down with God ad talk to him about life or his problems. I certainly don’t ask, “What can I do for you today?” I neither spend time getting to be his friend nor looking to care for him.

I make God out to be a blessing fairy.  I use God. I mistreat him.

Still, he waits in hopes that I will learn what it means to be a friend.  Still, he waits for me to mature to the sort of person who will spend time with him, who will listen, who will wait and then offer my heart and my hands.  Finally, when I do mature into a friend, God will be blessed by me.

Do I look to listen to God’s heart?
Do I think about what matters to God?
Do I consider him a friend?


© 2007