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10 Responses

  1. Linn says:

    Michael,
    I guess I was taught differently-that prayer was to help me grow in my relationship with God as I came to know Him better, that God answered with yes, no, or wait, and that suffering was to be expected in this life. I was also taught that God would always answer according to His will. He could do a miracle (always!), but that might not be the answer. I was also spiritually formed in a cessationist church.

    So, for some of my most formative years as a Christian my idea of prayer was to an old Miser in the sky that might do me a small favor if I was well-behaved. Then, I started praying with some people who prayed specifically and expected God to answer, sometimes dramatically, and always according to His will. They also articulated the Scriptures as they prayed, and there was a lot more emphasis on praising and confession then just the “give mes.”

    They changed the way I prayedI-to ask God for big things, but I also ask for His will to be worked out in my life and the lives of those I pray for. I’ve had, and have, difficult situations, but God keeps me going and I grow and come closer to Him. Other times, He has answered the big requests even before I knew what I needed to ask for.

    God tells us life is hard. Jesus didn’t have it easy, nor did the disciples. Many believers in other countries might be shocked to realize what American Christians expect to get from God.

    The more I pray, the better I get to know God, what does He want me to learn? How does my request square up with Scripture? I pray for the salvation of family members knowing that God wants all to be saved, but many will refuse that choice. I ask God for healing knowing it can be instantaneous, but He may choose a road of suffering like Paul to make me more dependent on Him until I get to heaven. He supplies all my needs, but not all my wants (and, of course, I always “need” something I saw on Amazon).

    I think many need to go back to Scripture to reconsider what prayer really is. I’m still learning and I need to continue to pray that much more.

  2. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    I’ve posted here before about my struggle with praying. It seems the right thing to do- so I’ve been told—but people don’t get healed and as you say, still struggle.

    I am ashamed to say that I have given up on designating any significant time for prayer. I still pray for people, but it’s to give them a sense of comfort. But I really don’t think much will come for my praying.

    Just being honest

  3. Michael says:

    Linn,

    The problem is that an honest reading of Scripture tells us many things about “what prayer really is”.

    Personal experience often contradicts the “promises”.

    I think for the most part we define it in the way that we can live with…

  4. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    Honesty is the only thing I’m interested in…the only way to real discussions and discovery.

    I pray at semi-regular times…pain and medications have messed with my schedules.

    I pray through out the day and when I awaken in the night watches…but it seems to avail little.

    It is discouraging, but giving up would be giving up on hope.

  5. Miriam Wegemer says:

    everyn nght now, I pray for an hour – I a a bit surprised at tthe ground I cover
    AND ALWAYS IN JESUS NAME< BTW

  6. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    My failure to pray, I am ashamed to say, is an act of passive aggression toward God.

    You’re a better man than me.

    I have a lot of pent up anger that I need to get past. Probably need professional help

  7. Miriam Wegemer says:

    Officerhoppy, are you forgetting Satan?

  8. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I go through seasons of unholy attitudes toward God…I’ve found it best just to tell him straight up what I’m bent about.

  9. Nonnie says:

    I agree with Michael. Be honest with God. Thinking of some of the Psalms where the writer is angry and disappointed with God. Thinking times my teens were angry, accused me of not understanding what they were going through, didn’t want to speak to me. My love for them never wavered and the relationship was never broken. Love never failed. When I pray with/for someone, I don’t expect a miracle (anymore), but I BELIEVE that in those few seconds/moments we are praying, we are ushered into the presence of God and He is with us. I have lived most of my adult life loving and serving Him, and although there have been painful and devastating times in life, and I know less about God today than I did 47 years ago, but I know God is good and I am His.

  10. Michael says:

    Well said, Nonnie.

    I think it critical to be honest to God.

    I do not think one can pray or worship if they have anger and enmity towards God that they think is hidden from His sight.

    You cannot have a good relationship with another person if you are silently packing resentment against them because they disappointed or really ticked you off multiple times.

    You have to speak your truth to them and speak it fully before relationship can be restored.

    I have to vent to Him every now and again myself…this isn’t the script I wrote for my life.

    Like Nonnie, I know less about Him than when I started…but He is good and I am His…

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