As an 18-year-old young man, raised in poverty and broken circumstances, I encountered Jesus Christ and experienced the first overwhelming ALL moment of my life. My whole existence took on new meaning and purpose.
Years later as a new father, I experienced the ALL moment differently—from the giving end. This was a new definition, immediate, visceral, from the inside out. Although the word had been in my vocabulary, and the concept had been part of my theological training, now it was living in me every day. ALL was loose in my life.
That second experience planted an idea, a seed of understanding, deep into my soul about God and about prayer.
What I discovered after the birth of my daughter was the moment when you can joyfully give yourself and everything you have to one person’s welfare and never even blink at the “cost.” In a singular ALL moment, my heart quickly and easily yielded total allegiance when confronted by something of absolute value. In my experience of ALL, courtesy of my daughter, I caught a glimpse how the deepest transactions of life are completed.
Without asking permission, the ALL moment of fatherhood activated a deep question of longing in my heart. Watching my heart respond to my daughter made me rethink God’s Father love for me. I began to wonder in the deep places:
“Wow, God! Do you really feel this way about me?”
I was beginning to see that, if I followed this ALL beacon (lit by my daughter), it would redefine my faith, even changing my understanding of what it means to be human. I barely realized what had happened, yet found myself on a mission to experience the full and complete ALL exchange with God, my Father—to be loved in an undivided way, to reciprocate with undivided love. Deep rumblings were awakening in the hidden places of my heart.
While reading Genesis 1-2 through this lens, I came to the simple realization that on a particular day at the very start of human history, God became a Father. Have you ever considered that? God too had an ALL moment. He looked at His two children and named them and loved them without reserve. He told them, “Everything I have is yours.” As a first-time Father, He experienced feelings of total devotion to His children on an epic scale.
Everywhere I looked this father-daughter journey pointed me into uncharted territory. I was being drawn into God’s ALL, His uncalculating, undivided affection and commitment. I began to see why Jesus always emphasized the Father-child connection in how He prayed, and how He taught us to pray. Prayer reconnects us with the Father’s undivided, undiminished response to us. His response is always ALL.
What if God can’t wait to hear what I have to say, and can’t wait to give to me from His ALL?
While trying to grasp the implications of God’s undivided heart toward me, I recognized this simple connection: When a child needs a father’s love or provision or special intervention, he or she simply asks.
As God’s child, I too can ask my Father. I can count on my Father’s undiminished, undivided resource to always be available for my life. He has put in place a simple strategy for me to access His love and provision and special intervention, and that strategy is prayer.
Today 4 more people have requested a free .pdf copy of my new book, Get Prayer and Get It All.
To request yours, simply write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d love to hear from you soon!
My UPS man delivered hot-off-the-press copies of my brand-new book, Get Prayer and Get It All. Then he bought the first copy out of the box. What a fun moment!
It’s hard to believe Get Prayer and Get It All finally is in print. I can’t say “Thank you!” enough to everyone past and present who helped spark the dream and who helped make it a reality.
You can request a free .pdf copy by dropping me a quick note at email@example.com.
You also can buy a “real” copy at https://www.createspace.com/4468779.
Get Prayer and Get It All is written, edited, proofread, and being designed this week. I can’t believe I’ll have my first copy hot off the press before all the autumn leaves turn colors.
It’s been humbling to read the endorsements that have been coming in for my book. I almost am tempted to ask, “Which book are you talking about?”
Here are two brief excerpts from the Foreword:
I am excited to be a part of any solid book about prayer, but Get Prayer and Get It All actually got me more excited about prayer than I’ve been for a long time. It rang true to three areas of passion for me that I think are very important to our faith: wanting ALL of God is the driving force of my faith; understanding my relationship with my FATHER in heaven and on earth is the key to our culture, our church, and my personal walk; and needing God desperately, and knowing that’s right where He wants me, is my daily focus. Rick Padgett touched my heart with deep truths that we all need to know.
I particularly responded to Get Prayer and Get It All because—as I continue to learn more about prayer on my journey as a Producer and a Christian in Hollywood—I appreciate books that go right to the core of the issue. If we are not completely sold out to God, if we don’t need Him desperately, if we don’t put Him above all else, then we are missing out on the abundant life that God promises us as His followers. And I believe the only way to experience that is through prayer…
As you read this devotional, I urge you to embrace God’s ALL. You may not know it yet, but all of us need Him desperately. Only then can He do miraculous works in our life—when we seek Him, depend on Him, and get out of the way. So, my prayer for you, as the reader of this book, is to turn to prayer and get God’s ALL!
Hollywood Prayer Network
I really possess only one significant asset. It is my God-given ability to reduce my entire life to a single allegiance.
If I invest this asset wisely all is well with my life. If I squander this asset nothing is right with my life.
Here is the terrifying simplicity of how God made my heart. I am an All or nothing man living in an All or nothing universe.
I didn’t choose this kind of life. I didn’t make the rules and I can’t escape. I get to make only a single choice. If I invest wisely, All is well.
I am finally believing that my heart can serve only one master. Simply stated, my life cannot escape the tyranny of All.
How did I come to this conclusion? See Matthew 6:24, Mark 12:28-32, Proverbs 4:23 & 25, and 1 Corinthians 13:7.
There is a compelling movie, with many compelling images, called Master and Commander (2003). There’s this scene where the surgeon of a ship gets shot and he takes a bullet right in the abdomen, right below the ribs. He is getting sicker and sicker and the only other person on the ship who knows anything about medicine is incompetent. So, he gets to the critical place where he is going to die if they don’t get the bullet out. So you know what he does? He makes himself the patient. He puts a mirror up and he has some assistance, but he does surgery on himself. He actually cuts his own abdomen open, reaches in with the forceps, and pulls out the bullet and does surgery on himself.
If you want to live the mandate of God, and you’re serious about it, there are going to be times when there are things inside of you which are limiting your obedience. It’s not that you lack understanding of what God wants to do. It’s that the inner resources of your life for one reason or another are limited, and God is going to have to open up those places and work on them and you will have to participate. He might put you under light anesthesia, but you’re going to be amazed at just how much you learn and there’s a reason why.
Because, it’s not just about you. Because, there comes a point in the journey when after you’ve been under the care of the master cardiologist, and He wants you to begin to partner and help other people with their broken hearts and so that is the process of becoming wholehearted because the Scripture says if you seek me with your whole heart, you’ll find me.
Well, what happens if your heart is broken and a piece of it is not working or it got lost somewhere? Or you gave your heart to something and someone stole a piece of you and you never got it back? What happens if somehow there is a fracture in your inner heart and pieces that were supposed to be connected got disconnected and it’s not working?
How can you obey the mandate to seek God wholeheartedly if you don’t have a whole heart?
When Jesus goes to preach His first sermon, He opens up the Scripture and it’s about Him. He reads from Isaiah 61, which says:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, / because the Lord has anointed me / to proclaim good news to the poor. / He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, / to proclaim freedom for the captives / and release from darkness for the prisoners…
What’s in that first “He has sent me” statement about the good news? It’s to bind up the brokenhearted. Because in Jesus definition of the good news, it meant that God was going to source your obedience to His mandate. He is going to get inside of the process, and He is going to source your obedience to His mandate.
In other words, you’re not like Abraham Lincoln, who was left pretty much by himself to figure it out.
Jesus could say, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32)
God is going to actively enter into the process and source your obedience to His mandate from the inside out. Jesus said He was going to bind up the brokenhearted.
This is how my inner conversation goes: I am now a student of cardiology. I’m a student of cardiology, and as I become a student of cardiology, guess who is the primary patient? Me. Now, so I’m both an understudy, but I’m also the patient. So as we are learning this fine art of Jesus binding up the brokenhearted, as we are learning the mystery of Him uniting my heart to fear His name and to do all these wonderful heart things, to write His law. I’m the patient, I’m the understudy. I am watching Him and participating with Him as He does surgery on me.
The heart journey, heart surgery, and heart mapping
When I get to the end of my life I want to be able to say, “God, at least I tried to follow your mandate for my life. At least I was on that track. At least I was beginning to say, if this is what I’m supposed to be about, then I probably shouldn’t be doing this.”
There starts to become a mechanism in my life for living by God’s two-part mandate. As we do that, as we really begin to embrace that–and I think most of us start with the source material–pretty soon we start in on this heart journey.
Something begins to happen in your heart. God begins to address the limitations inside. It’s not just a cognitive lesson in your brain. There’s something going on in the inside, and you enter into a whole new study of what it means to obey and to experience what God really wants.
That’s what the heart journey, heart surgery, and heart mapping is all about.