A gift of joy, a prayer of gratitude, a blessing from Our Father
God’s Lost and Found
For years I have gone to God when I’d lose stuff…keys (top contender, by far), earring-backs, books, files…nothing terribly important in the whole scheme of things, but stuff I needed at one particular moment in order for my life to continue to run smoothly.
The way it started is kind of embarrassing, actually. I wasn’t yet familiar in any personal way with God. I’d been taught about God in broad strokes as a child and a young adult, but most of this early learning was just so many words with no personal experiences to which I could attach them.
Along the circuitous way that I’d traveled in my search for God (Editor Angel – Ahem, you had no idea at that point what you were looking for. I was there, remember?), I sought out and met a couple of times with a fortuneteller. That’s what we called her, anyway.
Her name was Dolly. She only met with people who came to her based on the recommendation of previous client. She lived simply and referred to herself as a mystic. She said her ability of Sight, as she called it, was God-given. (Honestly, I wasn’t far enough along at this point to appreciate or care much one way or the other where her ability came from as long as it worked.)
If there was ever an example of God finding us wherever we are, I’m it. (Really, Lord? I search for a fortuneteller and You just get in line?)
Anyway, it was Dolly who suggested a book to me, The Mystic to Cosmic Power by Vernon Howard, which prompted me to find lost items in the way I’m about to describe. I gave my copy away a long time ago, but I remember that somewhere in it there was a suggestion for how to appeal to a high power (the forces of the universe…?) for help. I don’t recall the suggestion using the word “prayer.” But when I made my first appeal for help in finding a gold earring-back that I’d just dropped into the carpet somewhere near or around my feet, that’s what it felt like. I remember thinking “What the heck. What can I lose by just trying this?”
First I closed my eyes and became quiet, then I visualized my earring-back and then I asked for help in seeing it with the sight of the One who could see everything.
Then, BAM, I opened my eyes, gave them a minute to refocus on the carpet and sure enough, there it was. Just like magic, I thought.
Over the years since, I’ve imagined that a VERY patient and long-suffering Lord knew I was open to belief, but needed some sort of small demonstration of His presence.
I never really believed in magic. I just didn’t have other explanations at the time. I’ve since revised this act into a real live prayer, complete with first acknowledging God’s authority and hand in all things; asking Him to give me His sight to see where I’ve left some object. Then, I remind Him that He promised us that anything we ask for in Christ’s name will be given us (this feels a little like a small child saying, “You said You would. You promised!”…but then, to God we are all small children. So pride, deftly set aside, I continue). Finally, I thank Him in advance for His help.
That’s it. I try to keep it simple since I don’t know enough to make it complicated. I can’t remember a time that that prayer hasn’t yielded exactly what I asked. Normally within the next hour…often during the next few minutes…I will have found whatever it is I was looking for.
I use this prayer primarily when all my frustrated attempts to find some trivial item have failed, though every once in a while I’ll pray something similar when one of our children or someone close is looking for a job or a new direction. (The little devil on my shoulder periodically whispers in my ear to pray it and then go buy a couple of lottery tickets. I ignore him.)
But it was only this morning that it occurs to me that I could pray this prayer for those times when I might lose sight of God in my life. (Note to self: Write this down somewhere so if you get depressed, you’ll have a reminder for where to turn. Note back to self: That’s what I’m doing!!!)
I don’t know how effective it would be to pray it for others who either lost sight of God, or never had Him in their sight – their free will can still thwart – but God knows. He can see not only where these others are in their journey; how far from or close to Him they are. He can also see the resources that He might best use to get their attention; to get them to see Him and His love for them; or, if that’s too big a ticket for the first step, He’ll know whether a gentle tap on the shoulder will make them turn to Him, or whether it will take a Mac truck to move them. He’ll know. He knows. And what we ask for in Christ’s name will be given.
So, the point, I guess, of this rambling is: If you’ve lost something, pray. Ask for God’s help in finding it. Then watch to see what happens. Then pray a prayer of thanks for His help.
Pray for little things – God enjoys pleasing us, especially when we pay attention to see how He answers our prayers. And He loves our gratitude when we remember to thank Him and credit His awesome power.
Pray for big things – He has a plan for each of us that is so much better than any plan we might construct for ourselves. He’s patiently waiting for us to understand, name, and ask for our deepest desires – either lost or not known, then He will fulfill them to the top an overflowing.
Pray for others who are lost – their free will and pride and arrogance can pose mighty barriers to His love, but our prayers are mighty as well. They both demonstrate our faith in God and, when we pay attention to see the answers to our prayers, they help build our own faith.
I may never know how my prayers work in the lives of others, but as my prayers are answered in my own life and in the lives of people I can witness personally, I know – with a certainty born of an increasingly stronger faith – that they are working to bless others whose lives I don’t see.
What is lost in our world is not lost to God. He knows where everything is and He knows how to lead us to find our heart’s desire (and our keys, praise God). Most of all He knows where each of us is and what we need in order to find Him. It’s all there – including God – just for the asking.
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