It is a simple goal boiled down to a sound bite. Simple, but profound. “Less whining, more praying.”
I want my future to have less and more. I want less whining, less complaining and less caterwauling. I want less grumpiness, irritability and fussiness. But, I want my future to have more and more of one thing: prayer.
Here are three reasons to join me in this goal.
–Praying is more Christlike than whining. We are not very Christlike when we whine. Complaining is not a spiritual gift. (I just checked again. It isn’t in the list of spiritual gifts. Really, I checked this quite thoroughly!)
A whiny spirit is very man centered and often self centered. Praying, however, is centered on God himself. Instead of bringing our problems to man, we bring them to Jesus. “Present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Jesus wasn’t a whiner. But he was a prayer. Mark 1:35 tells us about Jesus praying. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place and there he was praying.”
Jesus modeled prayer for us. Jesus taught us how to pray. Jesus lived an attitude of prayer that we can see. Note what Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane on the night before the crucifixion. He didn’t whine. He prayed.
–Praying is more productive than whining. Perhaps the reason we become whiny is our experience with it. If we are whiny enough with our parents they eventually cave and give us the extra cookie. If we complain enough to our spouses they weary of the onslaught and give in to our demands. But this is neither good, nor right and certainly does not work with the Lord. God never negotiates with terrorists.
Praying, on the other hand, is super productive. The bible says it like this. “The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” (James 5:16) God tells us that prayer, not complaint, is the avenue to experiencing God’s power in our lives and needs. Prayer changes things.
When we get to heaven, we will, I’m convinced, see how much was accomplished through prayer. We will recognize that prayer was the means by which we accessed God’s power and experienced God’s blessings. All of our complaining and cajoling will be seen by heaven’s standards as small and petty. But our prayers will be recognized for what it is– the wise calling out to our glorious Savior!
–Praying is more encouraging than whining. The complaining life is a draining life. It sucks the joy out of the giver and the receiver.It drags down all associated with it.
But the praying life is an encouraging life. It encourages the needy by its access to the one who can answer those needs. It encourages the downtrodden by the faith that it demonstrates.
I know this truth from my own life. When I complain, I want to quit. But when I pray, I want to soar. Whining takes no faith. Prayer is the life of faith.
When I need encouragement in my life (and who doesn’t need that?) I go to the one who prays. Nothing encourages me more than knowing that I have people who are praying for me; who are crying out to God on my behalf.
So, I’m left with a sound bite. But one that I want to be more than that. Perhaps you will join me in making this part of your future as well.
Less whining, more praying.