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Wouldn't Start From Here

A city guy lost his way on rural roads. Dangerously low on fuel, he came across a man on a tractor who looked like a landowner. “Excuse me, sir,” the traveler said, “but I’m lost and running low on gas. Can you tell me how to get to the nearest gas station”? The man on the tractor thought for a few seconds, and then said, “Well, mister, if I was lost, running low on gas, and looking for the nearest gas station, I wouldn’t start from here.”

So, after the smile, I’ve been thinking about David the songwriter king of Israel who prayed,

“I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me… (Psalm 119:176).

When David thought about the laws of God, he knew in his heart that he had strayed. The second thing he did right was to ask God to come to his rescue.

Looking back, I think some of the worst prayers I’ve ever prayed contained my own idea of how I wanted God to help me and what I wanted his help to look like. Maybe second worst were prayers that expressed a veiled assumption of what I thought I was entitled to.

Would you agree with me that, when we need help, there are some places and prayers that are not the best place to begin from?

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16 Responses to “Wouldn't Start From Here”

  1. Gale L. Jarvis says:

    Good Morning everyone, Mart, The Lord has given me many things to write about, and as i was talking with the Lord, the Holy Spirit gave me a thought to begin thinking about, the thought is about Putting Off, and as i read your thoughts this morning, this is one of the main reason we get to the place of asking the Lord for some thing, and because we have Put Off thanking the Lord so many times for all the wonderful things He has given us, we become convicted, and know this is not where to begin, by asking, we need to back up, and begin by thanking, not just in words, but in deeds.

  2. tallmark says:

    Amen Gale! Thank you Lord for the reminder this morning and thank you Lord for this wonderful day and for the opportunity to consider you. It’s a good time to remember Job 37:14 “Stop and consider God’s wonder…” and to remember to say thank you, just like your mama taught you. :)

  3. sjd says:

    Matthew 6:9-10 (KJV)
    9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
    10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

    As I consider the privilege of relationship that God has given me as His child and His continued presence for all eternity, I cannot help but praise Him with thankfulness.

    Then following Christ’s example, recognize Him for who He is, and pray desiring that He has His way now, that His Kingdom ways are expressed in and around us, so that He will recieve all glory and honor. May His will be done today. “Not my will, but yours be done.”

  4. Elaa says:

    The thing is sometimes, we do know that we are starting at the wrong place. Like, when we begin to pray, when we know what we should be doing is really changing something. I know I’ve done that.

    What I catch myself doing and then have to stop is, first, I want to call this friend and that friend. I find myself saying, don’t you think you should tell God first? And in this last instance, I did talk to someone after praying, but God led me to talk with friends for whom prayer and godly counsel not logical reasoning were their first response!

    But I guess in the heat of desperation and anxiety, starting at the wrong place and praying the wrong prayer may seem like a valid option.

  5. pegramsdell says:

    You know that Jesus came to save the lost.
    I was lost, but now I’m found.
    Sometimes I’m walking on the water with Jesus right in front of me, then I look away for a second and I’m sinking.
    But, He always reaches down and pulls me back up.
    Thank You Jesus!
    We all run out of gas sometimes, and pray for a gas station to appear out of nowhere. We should have filled up when we had the chance, but we think we can make it if we don’t stop.
    We need to stay focused on The Lord and off ourselves.
    Stop, be still and know that He is Lord. Get filled up!

  6. maureen says:

    My prayer reflects my sinful heart; nevertheless, in prayer, I speak my heart (which I trust He knows better than I do). If prayer is made beseeching that His will be done, can it be qualitative?


  7. daisymarygoldr says:

    That was a good one:) The sheep(oops cows)look really lost!
    We do wander and then sit and wonder- where is He or if He is even there? Don’t know about the place but my prayer will be something like this:“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life”. Psalm 139:23-24

  8. Hephzibah610 says:

    “Would you agree with me that, when we need help, there are some places and prayers that are not the best place to begin from?” -MDH

    Yes, it is probably true…but when we are hurting and in deep need we don’t always think straight. I think of those distressed people who were leprous or sick and cried out for mercy to Jesus. I don’t think that they thought long and hard about how to present themselves…they cried out out of their own desperation.

    With the belief that God is merciful as a starting place…I think the words we use may not be as important as our sincerity–knowing He is our only hope.

  9. drkennyg says:

    Yes I am most often lost and in need of rescue by my Savior, Christ Jesus. He referred to us as sheep because we are lost. Perhaps that is why the resurrected Christ sought out Peter and knowing he loved Him asked him to “tend my lambs”. Jesus wanted the “people business” to continue in His Name.

  10. desert rose says:

    I often think of those who pray for God’s help when they are financially strapped. They have, however, by their own admition overextended themselves, have not honored God by tithing, and have wasted money. Many times my husband and I have been asked to help a family, and we have. But then in observing their life style we see that they are not good stewards of their money nor do they want to receive helpful advise.

    Another example is not getting up early enough to get to our destination in time, so we hastily pray to God and ask for help to get on time, yet we speed to do so. To me these are examples of starting at the wrong place.

    I believe we need to be good stewards of what God has given us and give ourselves time enough to be where we need to. In an emergency situations – both of these senarious are quite different.

    Prayer must begin with a confessed heart, as God does not hear us if we regard inquity in our hearts.

    I always need Jesus as my Shepherd because I definetely am a dumb sheep, but a forgiven one.

  11. poohpity says:

    He told us we may not always know the right things to pray but we have an intercessor in heaven who prays for us. I had a dream once when I was being attacked from all sides and someone came and stood back to back with me then I was slashing all around with my sword(The Word). Then I became so tired that I could not even move my arms any longer and the Lord said, “that is where I want you just stand there and look up to me and call my name for help”. So when I have gotten myself into the wrong place at the wrong time all I am able to do is look up to God and say HELP!

    I do not know about everyone on this blog but I do not do everything the right way all the time and I mess up a lot. There are times when I am not a good steward of what has been given me or I go the wrong direction and run out of gas but so far God has taken what I have or where I’m stuck and used it for the benefit of His Kingdom.

    So when we do not know where or when to begin He does it for us and all we have to do is look up to Him and say HELP!

  12. Ika says:

    Good evening everyone!
    I think God always know what we meant actually. the problem is sometimes when we face the problem, we forget our communication with God. We find another help instead.
    I believe when we talk to God, he will understand us no matter where we begin.



  13. Ika says:

    Good evening again everyone :D!
    I just believed that God always know that we face the problem. Sometimes we forget Him and try another help instead of talking to him. I think the best problem solver is talk to Him and keep the conversation going, no matter where we begin.

  14. Gena says:

    I have always felt my prayer life not very good and not very consistent, so I could use a lot of improvement in that respect. At night, as I lay down about to sleep, I usually drift to sleep in a conversational state where I tell God “Thank you for this day” or something conversation-like. It’s just a habit that might not be the best way. Have done “knee mail” too. I try to start my prayers not telling God how I wish Him to answer my prayer. I try to keep the Lord’s Prayer in mind as a model. Back to your story though…I don’t think asking the farmer for help was wrong. After all we might be speaking to an angel! Or we might actually be a blessing to the farmer. Yet had the traveller asked for God’s help in prayer before asking the farmer, that would be fine too.

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