Monday, September 12, 2011

Are You Praying or Preying?

No, this wasn't a recent boarder at the kennel. There's been a couple generations of preying mantis' growing up in the hedges near my house. They are very interesting to watch grow. I find them both creepy and fascinating.
When I was a kid and I heard the name "Preying Mantis", I made the errror of thinking it was "Praying Mantis." In my mind, I started to think of them as something holy, like they had some secondary purpose. Have you ever seen one up close? Their little triangular faces actually turn and look directing at you. It's weird.

As I got older, I learned the difference and that they were actually "preying" on bugs. OH!! Big difference!

As I've gotten (even) older, I realize that many people, and sometimes myself included, pray like we're trying to capture as many people for God by any means necessary. Bad idea. Having an agenda while praying can lead to the idea that we can manipulate God. While we can spill out our hearts to the Lord, in all of our pain and doubts, and admit what we'd like to have happen for a person or a situation, God still knows best.

It's not easy to take a "hands off" approach when seeing others heading down a hopeless path. However, God understands what exactly that person needs, whether it involves our participation or not. Either way, other people are not our "prey" to capture.

While this feels like losing control, it's actually liberating to let the Lord use the means He knows are going to be effective versus us spinning in circles wondering if we'll do the right thing.

No one likes to be manipulated. It would be like looking at a weird, triangular face staring at us.

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