Prayer-archy of Needs

I’ve taken the liberty of adding some fun clip art to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  His pyramid explains how we tend to our most basic needs first.  Only once we consistently accomplish or attain those needs do we venture up the pyramid.  Essentially, you probably aren’t worried about your cousin’s wedding if you are starving to death and you won’t likely have aspirations for winning the Nobel Prize or quarterbacking for the NFL if your life is consistently in danger.

That is a bit of a rough paraphrase, but should suffice for those not familiar with his work.  As Christian’s we tend to approach God with the same dissection of status.  If our needs are being met, we may very well be more casual and pray shorter less heartfelt prayers.

Try saying these out loud or in your head if you aren’t alone.  Say them the way you would in a real conversation with God as though they just happened to you.

“I just stumped my toe!”

“I just buried my best friend”.

Same emotion?  Similar tone and timbre?  No inflection changes of any kind?  I sure hope not.  Would anyone dare classify these two types of pain as equal?  I fully understand how epic a good toe stump can feel, but it’s short lived and non essential duration can’t compare on any level, scale, or index.

For some of us… most of us at times… we pray based on our experiences.  When life is good, we pray good, happy prayers.  We may pray in the car on the way to work.  We may pray lying in bed tonight.  When things get tough, we may phone a friend.  We may involve the church.

As issues grow in severity, so do our prayers.  And when life comes crashing down on us and utter desperation is taunting us, we grovel at the feet of our Savior.

The goal here is to think about how we pray.  If we want our friend healed of cancer, does God get one tenth of our attention while our car barrels down the freeway at 70+ MPH?  Is it wrong to pray in the car?  I wouldn’t say so.  Not all the time.  But there is a bigger issue.

If we aren’t careful, our circumstances can begin to dictate our prayer life.  And there is one thing that never changes.  No matter what happens, how big, or in what form… Jesus will have always died on the cross for us.  His sacrifice does not toss in the wind of possible life moments.

Every day, at every moment, during all emotions, God sent His Son.  And that deserves worn knees, moist eyes, and heads on the ground.  There is a reason so many testimonies begin at rock bottom.  That tends to be when we are most able to listen to God.  He doesn’t change His tone, but we begin to listen better when there is simply nothing else.

This is a reminder to think about how you pray.  How long, how often, how sincere, etc.  But more than that… it’s a reminder for those living in that top section of life’s pyramid.  Every single section comes with a Savior that bled for us… in our place.   We ALWAYS have a reason to be thankful deep down in our shaken core.  No matter how good or how bad life gets, the cross isn’t going anywhere… it’s mission is complete.  What is your response?

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