Thursday, June 19, 2008

Prayer


Two of my favorite kids, Kenton and Brock, wanted to get their picture taken. Of course I must comply because I love them, but then strangely, for the pose, they wanted to pray...
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What is praying about? Lest you think I don't pray, I do. It's just that I don't know if I really "get it." Why do we think that to be mature we shouldn't use prayers as coins to plug into a slot machine God but then we wonder what to say? I must confess, I am not good at the supplication of the A-C-T-S. Adoration makes perfect sense since God is amazing to me. Contrition is the natural outpouring of my response to the awesome-ness of God...that I see myself to be so not God. Thanksgiving also makes sense-an amazing God is hanging out with the likes of me. But supplication? What can I possibly ask for after the first 3?!
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Sometimes the conversation that seems to run between me and God causes me to pause and question my sanity. Who is talking anyway? What difference does praying for rain make? Perhaps someone needs the drought. Andrew Murray in With Christ in the School of Prayer seemed to think it was a cop out to pray for God's will, that to those living in His will, it should be perfectly evident what His will is so just pray for it. Apparently I am not in the spiritual loop.
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I don't know what to make of all of it. I just talk to Father. I watch for him. I listen for his voice. As an infant, knowing he is near is soothing, even if I can't really understand what he is saying or make myself clearly understood. I trust that he knows my needs and loves me enough to care for me. When I look at the whole picture, it isn't about me anyway. It is about this God who graciously loves me, came to me, sought me, forgave me, wants me. To me, that is everything.

2 comments:

heartlikeariver said...

Hey J
I have struggled with some of these questions too and here are some thoughts, take 'em or leave 'em:

When we bring supplication before God, we are expressing our explicit need for Him. It is one thing to say ,in a general way, "I need you Lord" it is quite another to bring all things before Him in a specific way, as a child would with a Father, and ask for His help, guidance, strength and mercy. When we fail to bring even the "mundane" concerns of life before God, we are, in effect, saying "I got this one, I'm good..." How foolish! We do not take one step, we do not breathe even one breath without His grace. When we bring ALL of our concerns and requests before God, we are expressing to Him our desperate need for His grace. I fall so miserably short in this, yet the Holy Spirit is growing me as He continues to reveal my frailty and weakness, and opens up my eyes to the Glory and Grace of Jesus Christ. I am either weak and needy before Him or I am a foolish rebel who is deceived.
John Piper says that prayer is a "war-time walkie talkie" If I am not in the war against worldly pleasures and sin and if I am not in the trenches looking to seek and save the lost, I can easily fail to see my need for His strength and protection.

Jaime said...

Thanks, brother. I like the war-time walkie talkie illustration. It isn't that I don't petition Father for help; I do. I paticularly seek for others. I suppose I was somewhat unaware of how prideful it is to NOT seek Father's help with things for myself as well. Definitely good to consider this!