Saturday, August 2, 2008

More on Prayer

(click on to enlarge)

Now here's a really great prayer. Did you ever read the whole thing? Even though it's not from the bible, you have to believe that it was divinely inspired since it has helped so many people. Yesterday I wrote that I don't pray for every little thing. That comes from the experience of being a part of several prayer chains for years. When it got to the point that we were praying for someone's stubbed toe I thought -there's something wrong here. That toe or broken leg will heal because of the miraculous way he made our bodies. He already provided for that. If something is not going to heal than the person needs faith to accept that. Prayer shouldn't be a grocery list of all the stuff we want - prayer works inside of us. It allows us to feel God's presence. He may not give you a new car - but He will give you contentment, joy, a peace that passes all understanding - that's something the world can't do for you. When Jesus said, "Come to me all that are weary and I will give you rest" I think He meant - I'll put it all into perspective for you. You'll be able to handle it with Me by your side. Think about the Lord's Prayer. All it says is - give me what I need to live today and forgive me because I'm going to screw it up anyway. At a time when I really needed healing this was my daily prayer:
Create in me a pure heart , O God
And renew a right spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.
Psalm 51:10

And He did.

2 comments:

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I have always loved the prayer you posted today.

And I agree that prayer is mostly about what God does inside us. Human prayers are always imperfect, and yet God makes allowances for that:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

So I agree with a lot of your post. And I understand your frustration with people who treat God as Santa Claus and prayer as their Christmas wish list. But that frustration has not convinced me that I should give up intercessory prayer. In fact, I think we are commanded to prayer for each other and also to take our concerns to God. I just try not to have expectations or demands of God when I pray for myself or others. Even when I was praying to have a child, I tried to remain open to receiving an answer of no.

And I try not to evaluate whether someone else's expressed need is worthy of my prayer time. We all have to start our journey to God somewhere, and while I might not pray about a stubbed toe, for someone else that prayer could be an important act of simple, childlike faith. Or it could be a shallow view of God. I can't read their heart. Only God can.

Foster Communications said...

So I'm not the only one who has ever thought, when someone asked me to pray for someone, "well that doesn't seem like it's worth His time!"