Watching TV with my man is like eating candy from a box of chocolates. Sometimes he chooses well and sometimes not so much. Last Saturday night my husband’s choice was a golf documentary (yawn). I was barely listening when someone by the name of Chi Chi Rodriguez got my attention.

I don’t typically expect to hear good theology in documentaries about golf, but this hall of fame golfer gave some good insight into his prayer life when it comes to the game. These are the words that caught my ear,

“I really don’t pray to win…I say, ‘God it doesn’t matter what happens…I want You to help me to react to the situation.”

This, my friends, is a perfect prayer. We often pray for favor to win, a promotion, and success, but a higher quality prayer is that our responses to life be God-honoring. For instance, I do pray for my family’s safety, especially for my itty-bitty grandbabies, but I know there may come a day when I get that dreaded call that a loved one has been injured or worse. What if I lose precious people from my life? How will I overcome the anguish?

Even though I pray for safety and favor, I pray more that I will lean into God during the hard times and the difficult days.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5


Life is tough.

Life is hard.

And sometimes it can be downright painful.

But the measuring cup that measures our pain is not the same instrument we should use for God’s love. I remember a discussion I was in with my mother-in-law and one of my sister-in-laws as my husband laid in SICU. My sister-in-law, trying to comfort me, said, “Gina, God is not going to take Jamie. He loves Jamie.” Those were nice sentiments, but we all realized that that is really not how things work in God’s economy. God’s love does not mean that we will never be hurt, get sick or experience death.

God’s love is so much bigger than life’s circumstances. To measure it with “love me” and “love me not” antics is working far below our spiritual poverty line. God’s desire is that we will face life head on in His grace. Are you ready?

Then lean in.


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Award-winning author Gina Duke is a wife, mom and the Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church. With a B.S. in Organizational Leadership, she is able to bring a clear word for authentic Christian living. Through her book, “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press), she imparts 1 Peter 4:7 with the gift of structured prayer journaling. If you would like to schedule Gina to speak on prayer or host a prayer journaling workshop, click here for more information. You may also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheGinaDuke.

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  1. Love these words: God’s love is so much bigger than life’s circumstances. To measure it with “love me” and “love me not” antics is working far below our spiritual poverty line.
    Such truth there! As one who has been through much in my 56 years(married 31 years), I can attest to the truth and wisdom of your words. Day by day…leaning in!

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