Practicing the Prayer Coin
By Elisa Morgan
One of my friends remembers fondly her grandmother's gift to her each and every Christmas: a lovely, large milk chocolate bar. The first year, Cindy treasured the candy, hiding it deep in a dresser drawer to save for a special time. Except that special time never came. Later, when her mother gave her a summertime chore of cleaning out her drawers, Cindy discovered the chocolate bar in a melty mess. What remained of it was being consumed by ants trailing down her dresser.
Never again, she thought. The next Christmas and every one after, Cindy ate her chocolate bar, enjoying its taste as well as the love her grandmother intended.
I understand Cindy's desire to save her treat. There's such a letdown when we gobble down our holiday goodies, then sit empty-handed, with nothing left to enjoy until the next celebration.
The prayer coin is a different sort of gift. It offers a unique return. Jesus prayed, "Take the cup, yet not my will but yours be done." This is what I want. Honest. But what do you want, God. Abandon. Two sides of Jesus. Two sides of prayer. The prayer coin.
When we spend it lavishly - on ourselves, on those we love, and on our world - it's never depleted. The prayer coin returns abundance to us. More connection, more alignment, more intimacy with God. "For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance" (Matthew 25:29, emphasis added).
What will we do with the prayer coin God has given us? Stash it away to return it to him, unopened and safely encased in its original wrapper? Invest a spin or two in the crisis moments of our days? Palm it in daily devotions, occasionally learning from it but at times unplugging from its true benefit?
Or . . . cash it in toward the end result of ongoing intimacy with God? All the time? This has perhaps been my strongest personal takeaway.
I had feared that if I dared go honest, I'd be cosmically zapped, that I'd be forever misunderstood - even rejected. I wasn't. Instead, I was scooped up and held in a safe embrace. Then I assumed I'd be sizzled into abandon - forced to utterly give up my honest desires. In reality, I yielded tender toward God and what I knew he ultimately wanted for me. Instead of being lost in abandon, I was found. Really, the only thing I've given up in this journey is the very fear I was running from.
We need not be afraid. God the Father has given us an incredible gift - the prayer that Jesus himself prayed in the garden of Gethsemane. Like Jesus, we can be honest with the Father. Like Jesus, we can pray with abandon. Like Jesus, we can pivot, back and forth as many times as it takes to align our wills with God's. And, like Jesus, we can enjoy total intimacy with the Father.
Spend the prayer coin lavishly, with the currency of both sides: honest and abandon. It will always come back to us in the ultimate profit-a closer relationship with the One who spent all for us.
Elisa Morgan is an author and speaker and the cohost of Discover the Word and contributor to Our Daily Bread. Her latest book, The Prayer Coin, was recently released. Her other books include The Beauty of Broken, Hello, Beauty Full, and She Did What She Could. Connect with Elisa @elisa_morgan on Twitter, on Facebook and elisamorganauthor on Instagram.