UNPACK this

The Lucky Lottery

Published on May 17, 2017 | By

During last night's NBA Draft Lottery, the Boston Celtics came away with the number one overall pick for the draft next month. Fourteen teams had a chance to win the lottery, but the winning ping pong ball had the Celtics name on it. 

ESPN televises this quick event, filled with anticipation and hope as each envelope reveals the corresponding draft order from 14-1. It’s funny to watch the build up and effort that each team makes to contribute to their “good luck,” as they wait for the unveiling of the picks.

The team representatives sometimes bring good luck charms or items they feel will give them a better chance at winning the lottery. Certain teams think they deserve the top pick, but as the ping pong balls bounced last night, the Celtics were the lucky lottery winners. When thinking about luck or coincidence in light of faith and truth and God’s will, the one thing worth unpacking today is our view of prayer. How often do we use it as another “good luck charm” hoping that God will grant us our every wish? 

Unfortunately, prayer isn’t always an on-going conversation with God, but rather a last ditch effort for good luck to swing our way.

As we consider our own prayer life and the approach we take in our pursuit of God, do we just reach out to Him when we want something or when we think it’s our turn for good to come our way? 

Do we pray with boldness, confidence, and deep faith...or is prayer just another way of crossing our fingers and knocking on wood?

I believe in an all powerful, loving God who desires His children to know Him and do His will. It’s important we seek Him in prayer as we speak and listen. When we begin to understand His will and keep our desires rooted in Him, then we know what to pray and how to pray. We no longer just throw up empty or selfish prayers, but our communication with God is meaningful, continuous, and vibrant. 

Prayer reminds us where to place our trust and hope. When we pray with humility, and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, we can have faith that God hears us and sees the big picture.

He will either answer us with a "yes," "no," or "wait," and will provide the strength we need to respond well to His response. 

Great encouragement is found in 1 John 5:14-15 (ESV): "And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him." 

Today, let’s find comfort in the truth that God is good, loving, and involved in our lives. The creator of the universe hears us, answers us, and transforms us through prayer.

Who needs a good luck charm when you know the almighty God intimately? I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please help me to understand how to pray and what to pray, so that I can experience the power and joy of staying in Your will. I believe You hear me and know that You answer prayer in ways that I don’t always understand, but I trust that Your will is the best. Thank you for allowing me to know You and hear You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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