Saturday, October 24, 2015

Different Ways to See This

Note: About to be a spiritual curmudgeon. 
Just thought I would warn you!

Saw a meme posted on Facebook the other day.
Say AMEN if God has ever answered your prayer.
Hit like if you believe in the power of prayer.
Well, I did neither! Not because God has never answered my prayer or because I don't believe in the power of prayer. Both statements reflect truth in my life.

But not the way these memes usually mean it.

God always answers my prayers.
  • The answer is "No!" when the prayer is about what I want and I haven't asked what God's will might be.
  • The answer is "No!" when I'm being selfish or self-centered.
  • The answer is "No!" because God has more important things to do than my petty wishes.
Do I believe in the power of prayer?

Of course I do. But that power only works when I am keeping my prayers focused on what prayer is really all about.
  • Improving my contact with God. 
  • I do that when the only thing I pray for is the knowledge of God's will for me (and others) and the power to live it in my life.
This view of prayer does not look for God to be like Santa giving good boys and girls what they want while placing lumps of coal in the stockings of the bad boys and girls. This view of prayer leads us into deeper communion with God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. Then, as we grow deeper into that communion, we begin to realize that what we have and what we are doing needs always to be in communion with God's will.

When prayer "fails" it is usually our selfishness pulling us away from the will and grace of God.

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