Sunday, May 29, 2016
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Friday, May 27, 2016
We need to be honest about prayer: yes, there are some very strong promises about the power of prayer and the mountains that can be moved by prayer, but all your prayers may never move a particular mountain.
1 John 5:14 (NIV) This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
“According to His will.” “If it’s your will.” That means I can do everything right, I can make my request with full faith, and with pure motives, and with as much righteous living as is humanly possible, and I might still launch a prayer up to Him that ends in dead silence. No explanation. No apology.
Remember that along with all the promises about prayer in your Bible, it also gives you all sorts of examples of unanswered prayer or detoured lives that prove those promises were not meant to be used as some sort of formula.
The Bible promises that God answers prayers. But between that promise and your specific request about healing your child or selling your house or converting your best friend runs a great river of mystery that defies any formula.
That may not be very satisfying, but consider the alternatives. What if there was some sort of formula, in which if you did everything right, your prayer was guaranteed to be answered in the way you wanted?
One problem with that is that it is mathematically impossible. There are all sorts of contradictory prayers flying from earth to Heaven. If five people are praying to get the same job, four people will have to be disappointed. If two equally righteous women are praying for different outcomes, who wins?
But an even greater problem with treating prayer as a formula is what it does to our God. If there was a formula, God would basically abdicate control over to us. He would be reduced to a programmable machine, a genie, who had to obey rules that were beyond His control. So long as we followed the formula, God would have to do our will.
Now stop and think: Would you rather have the course of the universe decided by “Thy will be done” or “My will be done?”
Do you know best, or does your Father know best? If there ever comes a point where we know what should happen just as well as God, then God has become too small to be God. As human beings, we are not capable of even understanding, let alone controlling, the workings of nature or all the mysteries of our own bodies, or sometimes even understanding why we do what we do.
There has to be somebody up there with a better view of the universe than me. If there is, then He knows better than me, and He’s certainly too smart to give me everything I ask for.
So we pray, but we yield to Him, trusting that however He answers, it was the best and most loving answer He could have given us.
-from Scott Franks on 728b Facebook page