Christians have ‘prayer lists’ of burdens we regularly bring to God. Sometimes we call them ‘shopping lists’ and occasionally berate ourselves for treating God like a genie in a bottle. We know that prayer is more than lining up with our requests.
However, God does tell us to ask. Where else can we take our burdens? I know if I have a concern and do not take it to Him, I will try to “fix it” myself. That never works!
When Jesus encountered a woman at a well and asked her for a drink, she was shocked at His request for several reasons. But she was even more stunned when He offered her “living water.” She replied . . .
The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:11–14)
She wondered where He would get such amazing water. All she knew was the well in front of her. Chambers parallels this well to the depths of human life and the way we tend to go there first when we are in trouble. Some of us think that when we ask God to help us with the problem, He will draw from the only well we know – our resources.
I’ve learned my lesson. No matter how deep that well might be, He cannot draw anything out of it. Without Him, I am nothing and can do nothing.
Yet I have limited Jesus Christ by thinking I need to be smart, or talented, or a good speaker, or particularly gifted so that He can lift my burdens, answer my prayers, or use me in His service. How foolish! He cannot use the well of my sinful human nature; He is Almighty God and draws His response to my needs out of Himself.
I know this, yet like an impatient child, if He is not doing anything for a time, I begin to drift into doubt. Will He do it? Can He do it? For this, I’m often praying, “Nothing is impossible for you” and at the same time trying to offer my own well. In my pride, I’m always disappointed when it comes up dry.
Sin is like that. It relies on my “own way” instead of looking to Jesus. He is the only One who can do whatever needs to be done and do it perfectly. He constantly amazes me. At the same time, I’m constantly amazed at how quickly I forget that.