Welcome Today I am going to talk a little about my prayer life and share a “let it go” slow cooker recipe for pulled pork. I am always happy to have you join me for words of encouragement, scripture, and yummy food. Disclaimer: I may receive compensation for affiliate links and ads on this blog post. See my terms and disclaimer page for further information.
Food For Thought
Prayer is a very important part of my life, but there is one aspect of prayer that has confused me in recent years. We have heard verses and devotionals that tell us to pray without ceasing, which I understand to mean we will not stop praying. And then we also see a lot of quotes and inspirational wisdom that say things like “Let go, and let God” or advice that says once we pray about it, we should trust God and not worry about that particular prayer anymore. I always wonder that if I continue to pray about the same topic again and again, am I communicating to God that I don’t trust Him to take care of it and I can’t stop worrying about it? But then I’ve also thought that if I continue to pray for something, it shows how important it is to me, like when we offer prayers for sick friends and relatives continually, until we see their healing. It really comes down to my heart and mindset. Am I truly praying without ceasing, showing perseverance and faith in God’s ability to answer prayers? Or am I praying from a point of anxiety or lack of acceptance of God’s will when he’s already answered a prayer, but differently than I wanted?
A visiting missionary once asked if I prayed, and if so, how often. I really didn’t have to think about it, I just said “I pray all the time.” Then I explained further. I frequently have conversations with God in my head…asking for blessings, asking for help, sharing thanks for the big and little things, and complaining some, too. I believe these are valid prayers, even though not formal or eloquent. I think this is how God wants us to communicate with Him, like our dear friend and the Father that He is…I go to Him with good news and excitement, but also when things are just not right and I need His help. So a lot of my prayers are like little chats, and in that nature I certainly continue to talk about some of the same things, just like when I rehash the same events with my husband over and over again. And God, with His infinite patience, listens over and over again. Besides, when something is really bugging me, who is a more trusted confidant than my Father in Heaven? So I think I will continue to pray without ceasing.
The idea of praying without ceasing is probably less about praying nonstop about the same topic, and more about living a life saturated with prayer. And a life saturated with prayer is not just about asking for requests and wanting God to ease all of our burdens, which I have no problem with, but also offering continuous prayers of thanksgiving, which I am working on! I can’t speak God’s words directly, but based on my own Biblical studies, I believe He wants us to not worry, release our cares and burdens to Him, and allow Him to do His will. And when our hearts and minds are in the right place, we can continue to pray about anything and everything and the Lord will bless our lives because we have invited Him to walk with us daily.
Today’s Scriptures There are so many wonderful verses about prayer in the Bible, many more than I can possibly share today, but I think God’s message is clearly stating to pray…a lot!
The best known verse for praying without ceasing is in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.” I believe this verse is implying consistency in our prayer lives.
Another great verse, addressing both view points-pray without ceasing and praying to release worries-is Philippians 4:6. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I use this verse a lot in my life!
I love what the gospel Matthew says about prayer in chapter 6, which includes what we now refer to as “The Lord’s Prayer.” In addition to this great model for how we should pray, listen to verses 5-7, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” I don’t think these words are condemning public prayer. Obviously we pray in public when we are in church and I believe we all have the right to pray in public, but it’s about the mindset and motivation of that public prayer. God hears our words, spoken and unspoken, whether we are in public or in a secret place or all alone. So what is the motive for the public prayer, to be seen by men or heard by God? And about that “babbling like pagans?” That’s the part I worry about…when I keep going on and on about the same topic in my prayer, does God see me as a babbler. Keeping a prayer journal is helping with this. Writing my prayers helps me to not “babble” but keep my focus and be thankful in addition to submitting my requests. (The following links and prices were valid as of 7/12/17, 2:00 pm CDT)
Today’s Recipe “Let it Go” Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Today is as good a day as any to let you know about my food allergies and how one of them in particular impacts my cooking habits. I am allergic to kiwi, pineapple, and, of all things, tomatoes! I have a few other food sensitivities, but these three foods in particular can send me to the ER with the inability to breathe…so I take them pretty serious. The tomato allergy did not appear until post-pregnancy, so I have no idea how it happened or why, but I know it forces some creativity in the kitchen sometimes. I love and miss tomatoes, but I know there are considerably worse food allergies to have, so I try to just work around it. But let me tell you, I miss “real” pizza, spaghetti, lasagna, salsa, and barbecue. Yes, I can have grilled food and I love some good dry-rub ribs, but barbecue sauce is a big NO if it has any ketchup or tomato product in it. So today I have a recipe for slow cooker pulled pork. The meat is tender, flavorful, and juicy and makes great sandwiches, but feel free to add barbecue sauce, if you are inclined to do so.
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- cooking spray
- 5-6 lbs boneless pork loin or shoulder roast
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup spicy mustard
- 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
- 1 TBS grill seasoning
- 1/2 TBS garlic powder
- 1/2 TBS red chili pepper flakes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 cup cola drink
- hamburger buns of your family’s preference
Spray the inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Remove any packaging from pork, rinse and pat dry with paper towels; place in slow cooker. In medium bowl, combine brown sugar and next 6 ingredients. Use this sticky brown paste to rub all over pork, being sure to get bottom and in any crevices. Pour cola drink over meat-do not add any other liquid. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours. When finished cooking, use two long-handled forks (or a wooden fork and spoon set) to shred the meat and mix in with the juices. It is best to serve with a slotted spoon to drain off some of the juice or you will have soggy sandwich buns…unless you like that, in which case I say grab a fork because it’s still yummy! I like to serve my pulled pork with creamy coleslaw and crunchy dill pickles…my heart is in Carolina, even if my body resides in the Midwest.