I was going to write this as a theological article, but as I was thinking my way through it, I realized that it was actually a prayer.
Thus, my conversation with God.
This isn’t working.
I wrote this article the other day (to much applause) defending people who send “thoughts and prayers” to people after a tragedy.
You might have read it.
I thought it would please you.
The problem is that if I’m honest… the people who object to such have a point.
Prayers…don’t seem to be very effective.
James told us that if we prayed for the sick and anointed them with oil that they would be healed.
I must have bad oil because my folks rarely get healed and sometimes they die.
Jesus said not to worry about things like food, clothing, and necessary provision because you would provide.
I know too many people who can’t pay their bills and the hunger situation is out of hand in some places.
You said not to worry about tomorrow because today has enough trouble of it’s own.
You neglected to mention that tomorrow will probably be worse.
Paul told us to resist the enemy and he would flee from us, but he appears to have built a nest in my house.
I could go on…the one about the eagle wings…the one about running and not being weary?
Now, I realize that you’re sovereign and I’m not fool enough to question your goodness out loud.
I’m also well aware you hear the murmuring in my head.
Unfortunately, this isn’t just a personal issue…you have enlisted me to sell this.
I’m supposed to not only pray, but encourage others to do so.
That means I end up carrying their discouragement and despair round with me as well as my own.
I always feel like I did something wrong…like it’s my fault.
I’m sure it is…but you covered that, right?
The bottom line is that a bunch of us need to hear from you…soon.
We’re starting to wonder what we can believe.
I believe…help my unbelief.
Glad I’m not the only one…
I left room for co-signers…
Let me know what you hear by return post…
You’ll be one of the first… 🙂
……love , dusty
“I believe, Lord, help my unbelief…” one of the phrases that come to mind as I read God’s mail here. .. ” Though He slay me, yet will I serve. Him” … Devourer, enemy, roaring lion, wolves, perilous times…. are some of the others…
My heart breaks for all the well intentioned – some servants of God, some not – folk who are truly pressed down with the weight of evil that seems to be increasing… And yet, there is prosperity flagrant and flaunted around us… I don’t think the good times are on a roll at all, tho (if they are, they’re rolling downhill, giddy and childish)
What about those promises of care and healing? They’re in the Book! dunno
Michael and Dan, it’s all around us and it is puzzling to me that Christians can’t see it. Christians seem to be more concerned in placing blame than seeking Christ… but then, so do the heathen among us ,
Was it Stephen, who when being stoned by the religious, good people,, said, “I see Jesus standing at the Father’s right hand?” Praying still. .. leaving it up to God to answer or store my prayers until the day of His wrath… But it’s hard, so very hard to hold on – especially when bearing burdens of those we love, eh?
God help us all
I write little notes like this to God on my phone every once in a while. Thanks for sharing yours. Writing these notes is about as much of a “prayer life” as I have anymore. I know He sees them and that’s nice to know.
Sometimes I don’t know if I’m a believing unbeliever or an unbelieving believer anymore.
Anyway, I hope you hear back soon.,
Joel. (Hugs) you are a believer!
John 20:29, you have such strength about you.
,dusty, you have such grace about you ? I think that’s more important,
But thank you, dear sister
Spirit, lead me without borders. Let me walk upon the waters
Michael, you echo the sentiments of many, myself included. Sometimes I think the only hope we have left is that this will all end with His returning, but relief in the meantime?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Pretty hard to take heart sometimes, when we don’t see a lot of overcoming going on…..
And yet still, somehow, we pray – and I think the prayer you posted is heard.
Michael, I’d like to co-sign too. This is the prayer I’ve been afraid to pray…out loud anyway.
Didn’t you read, “The world will wax worse and worse” and because of this “the love of many will grow cold”? I’m trying to hammer this into Descended, the love part at any rate, and he needs folks like you to keep it together and love one another – because he’s rather contrary, ornery, and tends to put teeth into every argument.
When evil men and impostors are at their fullest, I’ll show up to hold you and everyone else who holds to me in my arms. I can’t wait for that day. Hold on tight. It going to get bumpy.
Love, with all my heart and mind and strength,
(Maybe, maybe He’d say something like that. I feel like that’s what He tells me. Goodnight, off to read Educational Psych)
Thank you, Michael, for this. At one time in my life I was much more verbal in prayer. Now, I mostly pray that God would bless and keep those I am praying for, that He would make His face to shine upon them, that He would be gracious to them and grant them peace. I usually pray for those who would consider me their enemy first, and then others. I am of the understanding that everything one would need finds fulfillment in that prayer.
I use to think liturgical prayers were a cop out; I am of the opposite opinion now. Sometimes, I just sigh…
Thank you Dusty
Sometimes I wonder if we’re so intent on seeking God acting where we think He should that we miss Him acting in other ways that are quite unexpected and we miss them.
Joel, that is a great thought….
I wanted to share an insight from a talk my wife and I had this evening, regarding prayer…
I have a 13yr old son. This young man has always been a best friend to me, always asking to do activities with me, always happy to see me. Over the years we’ve been able to spend quite a lot of time together doing activities we both love.
Now, because of my work, there are also many times when I have to tell him no, we can’t do anything today. This makes him sad, disappointed, etc… but I love on him, hear him,hug him, let him know he is loved. So even in his disappointment, he is getting fed.
It dawned on me this evening – with all the prayers I’ve prayed to God, asking him to heal people’s hurts, illnesses, comfort and give peace to those I’m praying for, and then see it never turn out the way I prayed for…… God was still giving me of himself. I was still being reminded of His love, I was still being heard. I was still being fed.
So maybe that’s what keeps us praying……
Thank you for sharing that Owen. I think your insight rings true and is very touching as well.
My prayers sound like this too.
In the world you will have tribulation….
I guess when I’m in tribulation, I’m in the right place. These last few years have been a constant cycle of what else could go wrong and how bad will it be? I’ve found myself in emotional depths I didn’t wish to explore and in relationships that had crumbled and died. Pretty much everything has fallen apart but I suppose there could be more. I don’t dare mention what else could go wrong because I don’t want to call it to myself.
My comfort has been that God is with me. It has been my ONLY comfort. I’ve drawn near to Him in the midst of all this and while no answers come, I have peace. But I have to remember to keep my eyes on Him and my faith in Him. Otherwise, I fall into the water like Peter.
I guess suffering is a great teacher.
This rings so true, Michael. Thank you for saying it. I echo these thoughts frequently with my need for and belief in physical healing. I recently started a small group at my church called “Pain and Healing”, which is basically a support group for those sick who need, desire and believe in healing. I also have a Facebook group by the same name and same purpose. I have prayed for and seen supernatural healing on other people several times over the years. Yet I’ve never experienced it on my own chronic lower back problem. 20 years of this. Yet I can’t shake the desire to pray for others and experience it myself. I get discouraged and want to quit, but the alternatives are not satisfying. As Peter said, “To who else shall we go? You have the words of life.” Thank you again for your honesty and even though it’s not what I want to hear, it’s an encouragement to keep going on, even with a limp.