The preschooler ripped the wrapping from her Christmas presents and squealed with delight at the contents. “Thank you, thank you, Mommy!” she cried. Then she looked at her mother with wide eyes. “Is there more?”
Many big girls ask the same question. Take Eve, for instance. God had already given her a long list of gifts: a perfect husband, a fail-proof marriage, the pleasure of living in a botanical garden, and everything physical needed to thrive. Best of all, He’d favored her with His presence. Yes, it seemed that creation’s First Lady had everything, but still she yearned for more.
We tsk-tsk Eve for her behavior, but we often play copycat. God has already given us so much and yet we yearn for more money, bigger homes, fewer pounds, nicer kids, better spouses, and greater success. Our prayers are riddled with requests.
In her book Women on the Edge, Cindi McMenamin says she recently took her “shopping list” to God in prayer. Reciting one need after another exhausted her. Later that morning, she read Psalm 27:4—“One thing I ask of the LORD; this is what I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”
“There were lots of things I was asking of God that morning. But the psalmist asked for only one thing: to dwell in God’s presence, seeking His face and glory,” writes McMenamin. “I realized that if seeking God had been my one request—my only request—I would not have needed anything else I’d been praying for.”
McMenamin says, “When God becomes my Sole Desire, I am able to face whatever comes my way. Jesus said, ‘Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).
“The rest of my prayer that morning became this: Simplify my heart, Lord, to have just one request: To know You and dwell with You intimately.”
McMenamin’s honesty challenges me to examine my heart. How about you? If you were allowed only one request in your prayers, what would it be—“God, please give me more _______,” or “God, please grant my desire to know You more intimately”?
As we begin a new year, let’s learn from McMenamin’s testimony and the psalmist’s example. It’s true that God invites us to bring our requests before Him, but let’s ensure that our primary yearning is to know Him. When that’s our heart’s desire, everything else falls into place.
(Reprinted from January’s issue of “Growing With Grace,” my free monthly online newsletter. You can subscribe at www.gracefox.com).