A Prayerful Plea

He stands at the far western edge of the ranch; solemn, alone, a stalwart watchman. As I enter the pasture to feed this morning, all the cattle have gathered for the feast—but for one. “Mavric” is my herd bull. Soon to be four years old, he is a registered Red Angus weighing in at almost 2,000 pounds of solid muscle and testosterone. Often the first one to the feed trough, I have to wonder why he’s remaining so far away. After pouring out the feed buckets, Bubba the chocolate lab and I go to investigate.

Driving across the pasture, Mavric begins his loud bugling. At 6:30 in the morning, I’m certain all the neighbors in the surrounding counties are enjoying his calls. All my girls stop feeding and look up. Their sire is calling. With breeding season in full swing, he’s been with my cows and heifers for several weeks. Why he’s not with them now has me puzzled.

Then, as the amplitude and urgency of his bugling ratchets up, I see the first few dots appear on the horizon. As I get closer, I can see the neighbor’s yearling cows and calves, along with their mamas emerging from the woods. My neighbor and I both turned our herds out on our back pastures this week, which means two things. It will be noisy, and I will need to keep a close watch on the fences. We try to avoid these things happening, but here in cattle country it’s inevitable.

In full voice as I pull up to him, I reach out to scratch his poll and encourage him to abandon his quest. Even enticing my buddy with a few cubes will not deter him. Soon he turns from me and begins his piercing bugling again, laser-focused on attracting a new mate. Shaking my head, I return to the UTV and head back to the house; another cup of strong coffee is calling me.

I realize all animals, even humans, are driven to bugling to attract a mate. Male birds are more colorful and put on majestic displays with their feathers to appear larger and use unique calls to make themselves more appealing. Bulls, be they elk, deer, or the bovine variety bugle. With sounds ranging from low grunts to that of air escaping a balloon, this is part of God’s natural world. Fellas, do you not think we have our own method of bugling? How many of you square your shoulders and puff out your chest a bit more when your beautiful wife or girlfriend enters the room?

In the days since, Mavric has broken the electric fence and caused two breaks in the barbed wire beyond that. I can’t be angry at him, realizing it’s a natural thing, but I need to be cautious he doesn’t escape; or worse, the neighbor’s bull visits my side of the fence. In preparing to make repairs, I starting thinking about how my prayer life needs to be as passionate as Mavric about pursuing potential dams.

I stopped to ask myself; When is that last time you prayed with that much passion? When is the last time you found yourself balled up in a pool of tears, pouring your heart out to God? It wasn’t long before I parked under the pine trees and began my apology. I’m learning that when the Holy Spirit convicts us, we need to act in that moment, not file it away for a more convenient time. So in the light rain, my pal Bubba made his way into the hay barn while I tearfully pleaded with God.

When is the last time you poured out your heart to God in prayer? Click To Tweet

Making a prayerful plea to God isn’t coming to Him with a list of wants, needs, and demands. It isn’t intercessory prayer for friends and family. It’s humbling yourself before your Creator and begging Him to show His mercy upon your pitiful life. In pleading with God in prayer like this, we make a heartfelt plea for His mercy. It is, as Paul described in Philippians 4:6-7, an act of supplication—the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly (the Oxford Dictionary).

It’s impossible to think of examples of pleading prayers without many examples from the Old Testament Psalms coming to mind. David, the man after God’s own heart, became a master at this form of prayer. Whether he was being hunted down by a deposed king or praying forgiveness for committing murder, we find him throughout his life, prone, uttering tear-filled pleas. Yet, we find many examples of people pleading with God through prayer throughout the Bible. Some include:

  • Joshua, begging God not to destroy the Israelites (Joshua 7)
  • Jeremiah, pleading his case to God (Jeremiah 12)
  • The widow seeking justice (Luke 18)
  • Hezekiah, pleading for his own life (Isaiah 38), and
  • Paul, pleading for God to remove his thorn (2 Corinthians 12)

In all these cases, the common thread I find is that these people came to God not with demands, but with humble requests to their Creator for His mercy. When I prepare to approach God’s throne with my prayerful pleas, I think of Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah”. You can only do this when you humble yourself to His sovereignty and majesty. While I am a child of God, I must remember that I am His servant and must always approach Him as such. In salvation, I surrendered my will, my life, to Him. Through His divine mercy, He helps me to let go of this world as I strive to move further into His.

In letting go of my worries, fears, and heartaches, I am reminded that my petition will not go unanswered. I know that God will not hold my confessed failings against me. I cling to His promise, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25, NKJV). I pray you join with me in remembering that God is our deliverer; that no request of His dear children (when asked in a right relationship with Him) will be ignored. We must also remember that while we plea with God to remove our earthly desires, faults, and fears, it may not be immediate. There may be times when He needs us to resist them just a bit longer to strengthen our faith.

God’s blessings,

60 thoughts on “A Prayerful Plea

  1. Words I needed to hear, JD. As you put it, I can approach His throne, but I must remember He who has been merciful to me, God my deliverer. I am His servant. Humility! Lord, may I humble myself before you. Amen. Thank you, Mavric and JD.

  2. Thanks JD, curious thing as why this level of passion is downplayed as a weakness. Some might not agree, but it isn’t the image of a tough guy thing. But in reality, as you so well pointed out, a passion for our Lord is natural and wonderful, as well as a passion to get rid of sin, to pour it all out and amen.
    Ol’ papa

  3. You truly have me reflecting on my own prayer life, J.D. Getting down on our knees, either literally or figuratively, passionately humbling ourselves before the Father, and trusting He will always hear, forgive, strengthen, and heal – that’s the way to go! Let us learn to bugle before God!
    Blessings!

  4. Convicting. Truly convicting. Just today I’m grieving a friend’s lost baby at 18 weeks. I’m turning to all sorts of things to comfort myself – food, cleaning, gardening – and realize I haven’t balled myself up and cried out to God. Forgive me, Father. It is so important not to put it off to a more convenient time because the heartfelt conviction might be gone later. The time is now. Act in the moment. Thank you my friend. Can you hear me bugling?

    1. I thought that was you the other morning my friend. 🙂 Please know I too am praying for your friend’s loss, and for you dear lady. Sometimes I think God breaks my heart just so I’ll come running to Him in prayer.

  5. Wow! I needed that reminder. Even though I mean what I say in my prayers, at times they’re “mechanical”, without much humility and conviction.
    Definitely something I need, and will, change.
    Thanks J. D.

    1. I’m sure glad to know I’m not along in that desire to pray more effectively Ms. Cherie. Thank you ma’am. Am sure looking forward to hearing about your manuscript and publishing process ma’am. God’s blessings.

    1. “You get what you give” dear friend. I so appreciate all your kind comments and encouragement. I continue striving to improve so I might one day bring honor to all that folks are pouring into me.

  6. How many times do we pray to God because it is the right time or right place and we commit ourselves to getting through the prayer and not much more. Thanks JD for reminding us of the right relationship with God during time of prayer.

    1. Well said Mr. Monty. Too often perhaps, our prayers become mechanical. Sometimes when we are asked to pray in public, I have to wonder if folks already know what I’m going to say and how I’m going to say it. I wonder if God sort of glazes over when we do that also. Those, my friend, are not the prayerful pleas we need to be making. Thank for your speaking truth my friend.

  7. J.D., your messages are truly inspiring. Reading your descriptions, I thought of the turkeys behind our house that are now spreading their feathers and strutting while trying to impress the female turkeys nearby. I pray I will humbly go before God, not demanding He answer my prayers. I pray I will thank Him each day for the plan He has for my life.

    1. I’m trying to learn from the best Ms. Melissa, which is why following your posts is so important to me also ma’am. Yes! I love watching toms and hens interact now and again. Whenever I get to visit with a client in CT, I almost always spend time just watching them in the wild.

  8. Thanks for the reminder to respond to the Holy Spirit’s promptings soon and not to file them away. When I do “wait for a more opportune time” I find I’ve lost the impetus to do it at all. And His voice dims. Settle accounts immediately!

    1. I think we all need to be reminded of that important fact now and again my friend. Thank you so much for commenting Ms. Jackie. Your kind words always brighten my day ma’am.

  9. An inspiring post, JD. I am always touched by what your cattle can teach you! One issue I’ve considered is that, being servants of God, He does not ever owe us what we ask for us. Some people seem to view “faith” this way – believing that we will eventually get what we asked for. James 4:15 makes me think about this. (“Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills’…”)

    1. So very true Ms. Robin. God owes us nothing! He loves providing for us and showering us with His love though. It’s in understanding that He answers all prayers, but He does so in His will and not ours that we find peace my young friend.

  10. Oh, life on the ranch, J.D. These stories pull me into ranch life as if I’m reading a book. Glad you’re not angry with Mavric!

    And I love the humble prayers you point out to in Scripture…pouring out our heart and soul before our Creator!

    1. This will probably sound silly to you Ms. Karen, but given you’re also a writer, I trust you’ll understand. I take my readers along with me when I’m doing chores around the ranch and things. So yes ma’am, in a way you are right here on the ranch with me when these stories are birthed my friend. In the same way, I wander down the mountain trials with you and your sweet husband now and again. I can smell the freshness of the woods around me, feel the dampness of the morning dew hanging heavy on the leaves. Your words transport me into your moments too ma’am. God’s blessings gentle friend.

  11. Always a powerful story from a ranch world I know nothing but love hearing and learning about. It may not be very similar but I think of the pair of doves who diligently try to occupy the same place they had their nest last year but we chase them away. The patio isn’t the best place for them but they keep coming back. Do I keep coming back to God passionately seeking Him? Thankfully, He says stay and build your nest in me. Thank God!

    1. I can sure appreciate your comments Ms. Kathy. I have the same issue with barn swallows each year. I tear down their mud nests, they rebuild them in the same spot next spring. Then take turns dive-bombing, me, the hay, the tractors, and anything else in their flight path. LOL Am glad you enjoyed ma’am. God’s blessings.

  12. What a beautiful reminder that God hears our prayers and cares about our concerns.
    And again I learned another down-on-the-ranch lesson. There is much to ponder here. For one: “I’m learning that when the Holy Spirit convicts us, we need to act in that moment, not file it away for a more convenient time.”
    Thanks again, J.D.

  13. I too Jim, am forever having to fall on my knees before the Lord, as He reveals some commission or omission sins. Not to ask for anything, but just to humble myself and praise and worship Him as my loving, merciful, and patient ABBA FATHER, as well as My GOD and SAVIOR. He is worthy of our worship and praise. Thank you for this reminder.

  14. Beautiful God filled words.
    Open my heart to you Lord.
    Maverick resembles our Willie, years ago.
    Thanks again and God bless.

    1. Perhaps that’s because we live in a beautiful, God-filled world sweet friend. I don’t know that your sister ever shared a photo of Willie with me. One day we’ll have to compare ma’am. This morning, he was back to his playful self though. Mavric lowered his head, closed his eyes, and proceeded to push me and my UTV out of his way so he could get to a different area of the feeder this morning. LOL God’s blessings ma’am.

  15. I might consider bugling as a new word in my spiritual vocabulary. Petitioning with passion for God’s purpose to be done.
    Thanks J.D. you always have solid anecdote to relate to spiritual things

    1. Thank you Ms. Jeanne. I’ll try and get a recording of it for you later ma’am. You can add it as sound effects for your new fairy garden. 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am.

  16. What wonderful words of truth, JD. I love your beautiful analogy of Mavric’ bugling and prayers of passion. Such a convicting reminder that God longs for open and honest prayers and is always willing to pour out his mercy on us.

    Thank you for sharing your adventures around the Cross Dubya and your “God Time.” You are such an inspiration. I admire your steadfast walk. Your love for our Father shines through. I’m blessed to call you friend.

    1. “Lord, help me to become the man this dear friend believes me to be. Thank You for leading her to speak life into me.” God’s blessings Ms. Starr. I can’t thank you enough for your kind, encouraging words of support.

  17. Amen, JD. A wonderful admonishment to seek God and pray with passion and humility. Love your tender heart and listening ear for God.

    What would happen if we made a habit of viewing prayer with eager anticipation of the privilege of time spent in our Creator’s presence, rather than an obligatory hurried task where we hand God our to-do list?

    1. Oh my! What would happen indeed my friend? What if each of us realized that we are to walk with God, every step of every day, and not just the obligatory five minutes each morning while we wait for the Keurig to heat up or coffee to brew. What if we sought to share each moment of our lives with God? What if we learned to live our lives Coram Deo (before the eyes of God)? What a wondrous world this will one day be. God’s blessings sweet friend.

  18. What a great commentary on how focused we need to be in coming to the Father with things and how easily it is to get focused on what’s on the other side of the fence (maybe that’s inherent to our human nature as well?). God’s love and mercy is the answer to all things. Thanks for sharing.

  19. You have much more patience with your amorous bull than I have with my horses. They aren’t attempting to get out of the pasture to mate, but seem to get themselves into trouble on a regular basis. You’ve reminded me that they are doing what God created them to do–I shouldn’t expect them to behave like anything except horses! Thanks for the reminder to be patient and wait for God’s timing to work in my life. Your wisdom and inspiration is always helpful to me, my friend.

    1. Thank you Ms. Katherine. Not sure that it’s patience as much as surrender. Am learning to accept that nature reacts the way God intended it to act. My buddy Mavric the bull is not a human like I am. He does not apply logic and reasoning as we do my friend. When he’s hungry, he eats. When he’s tired, he rests. When he’s “in the mood”, well, he just is. 🙂 There are times when I long for a more simple life; one without so man decisions and so much thinking. Then again, I realize God didn’t make me to be a dog, donkey, or bull. He made me to be their caretaker; and to be a more reasoned witness to His glory. I won’t say better than the rest of His natural world, as He uses it/them to bring me close to Him. Yet, my intelligence (what little there is) is what moves me more distant to God than the animals. They live in His world, we are wont to rise above it. God’s blessings my friend.

  20. There are times when I must remind myself that prayer is not always about me! The “prayerful plea,” as you say, restores the humility I never want to lose by asking God for wants, needs, and healings. Though we may live full and useful lives in service to Him, we are still unworthy of His love, kindness, and mercy yet He continuously pours it out.

    1. Amen Ms. Karen. I’m learning that sometimes, my most fervent prayers are “about me.” As you said, not about wants and desires, but about change. I think I pray hardest for God to change me; to help me become more like His Son. I hope that doesn’t sound selfish, but I want to be more effective in this life and more useful to God in the next if that makes any sense ma’am. God’s blessings.

  21. J. D., the connections you make to Scripture from ranch observations are always fun to read and insightful. The thought that touched me was this: “Through His divine mercy, He helps me to let go of this world as I strive to move further into His.” Thank you for encouraging words along with a challenge to diligently seek Him.

    1. I’m always grateful when I read an account of how something I wrote touches someone else Ms. Jeannie. It helps affirm that I am following God’s guidance in my writing. Hope that makes sense ma’am. God’s blessings; and thank you for all your encouragement and kind support.

  22. “You can only do this when you humble yourself to His sovereignty and majesty. While I am a child of God, I must remember that I am His servant and must always approach Him as such.”

    I appreciated this reminder. Thank you again J.D.

  23. J.D. I enjoyed reading about your patience with Mavric! And I agree, when God moves in our hearts, we must stop and respond then. Thank you for this colorful illustration.

  24. The distractions constantly calling for our attention can make it hard for us to get serious in our prayers. It’s way too easy to allow prayer to be routine. It can never be routine to address the Creator-God of the universe. Wonderful reminders here, J.D.

    1. Thank you Ms. Nancy. I think we all tend to fall into a “routine” now and again. I’m learning that when I’m troubled, it’s time for me to hit my knees and cry out for God’s guidance in those times.

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