"Dear Lord, please use me."
Have you ever prayed that prayer? Have you ever asked the Lord to use you?
I truly believe that this idea comes from a good heart, but sometimes I think it can develop or create a passive mindset. I think a lot of time in my own life when I have asked God to use me, I subconsciously think that He will do all the work. Yet lately, as I have been trying to listen and hear God's voice more clearly, I have heard Him say,
"Okay daughter, I've done my part. It's time for you to do yours."
During my time in Ireland and even more so after coming home, God has instilled in me the idea of partnership. I remember one day the pastor spoke on this topic and it shook me. Partnering with God has now become a new foundation for my faith, and is something I really want to grow in. The pastor mentioned that many of us have this default prayer that we often fall back on:
"Dear Lord, please use me."
Once again, I know I have prayed this prayer too many times to count. It is a prayer that says, "Father I desire to make a difference for you in this world." Which is a wonderful thing to pray, don't misunderstand. As I said before, I don't think this prayer is necessarily bad and the heart behind it is inherently good, yet, I believe there is a better prayer we can pray, one with more meaning and power.
"Dear Lord, please partner with me."
By praying for the Lord to use us, we tend to not only sell ourselves but God short. By praying for the Lord to partner with us, we open the door for God to connect with us.
Going back to the sermon I heard in Ireland, the pastor challenged us to start to think about our relationship with God in a new light. God doesn't just want to use you and then move on to the next best thing. No, He wants to partner with you in a life long journey!
You see, you are not just simply a tool that God wants to manipulate or bend to His will. You are not just a robot. You, my dear friend, are able to communicate with the Creator of the World! He did not need to create you, but He wanted to create you. He doesn't want to control you, compel you, or put a spell on you. He wants to care for you, and of course, He wants to help you, but most important He wants to do life with you. He wants to partner with you. Before sin entered the world, what did God do with Adam and Eve? He was with them in the garden. He walked and talked with them. He dwelled among them. Now, presently with the help of the Holy Spirit, He dwells not only with us but within us! All this to say and reiterate God doesn't just want to use you. He wants so much for more you.
I don't know about you, but this is so encouraging, and yet also a real challenge. Not only a challenge to my heart, but also my understanding of God. It is a call to action. I need to stop just expecting God to do everything for me. I have to do my part too. I can't just always ask him to use me. I have to begin to understand that it is a two-way street. This is the point for me when it goes beyond religion and moves into a relationship. It is a chance to grow close to my sweet Savior. I know that God has done and will do everything in his power to help me, but at a certain point a portion it's my turn.
God has already fully committed to me, the question is:
Have I fully committed to Him?
On a surface level, I would like to totally say yes, but some days I don't always feel that way. There some days where I just have to suck it up and put my faith above my feelings, and you know what? That's totally okay, God gets that. We all have our moments and our bad days, but we have the grace to fall back on. It that grace in which I have confidence in. That grace which leads me to be brave and courageous for His name. It is grace that leads me to step out in faith. If I pray for God use me, but I am not willing to step out of the boat, then how can I walk on the water? In the end, God is not going to push me out of the boat, I have to make the choice to step out the boat. Once I step out of the boat, I will not sink. I will not sink, because of my faith and because of His power. It is these two that keep on the top of the water: the partnership of faith and power that keep me afloat. Partnering with God is when things truly begin to shift.
So, this is my new prayer:
Dear Lord, please partner with me.
Molly Robinson, Student in Impact Christian Fellowship at IUPUI