so i’ve been mulling this over now for well over a year. it’s so huge i don’t think i’ll ever arrive at a destination. it’s one of those things that God is so huge, i only get an ounce of a concept because that’s all my peabrain can handle.
i used to pray with the idea that no matter what as long as i prayed about it, it would come out like i expected/hoped/believed.
praying for the rain to stop last spring/summer – well that didn’t go over well. praying for some health issues – well those didn’t just simply go away without serious effort from many… you are getting my drift right?! my prayer life wasn’t exactly what i think God wanted it to be. my prayers were driven by selfish motive. a genie in a bottle kind of expectation. i honestly justified it. thinking, i know the sunday school answers, but what i’m praying for is for the greater good. and why would He not want to answer them. they are just so obviously needing answered and in the way i’ve thought up, cuz that’s just obviously the most perfect way. riiiiiiiiight.
instead of evaluating my prayer life and adapting it to what God wanted it to be. i was so fed up and exasperated i just stopped praying all together. who wants to talk to a brick wall? this is what it felt like anyway. but by my own doing. i knew this even at the time. but was so ticked i didn’t even want to attempt to reconcile this part of my life.
along side this, we aren’t attending church. we aren’t involved at.all. we aren’t considered regular attenders anymore by any means. regular tithers. regular crusaders. the go-to couple, we were before. nothing. this allowed me to really look at this part of life in a whole different way. a lot of things bothered me. eric and i talked about it A LOT! feeling like we were never coming to any conclusions by the end of the looooong conversations. just seemed like an on-going problem that would never be resolved. seriously. and no church is excempt from these problems. so going to a different church really didn’t/doesn’t feel like any sort of solution. yet swooping in and attempting to turn it upside really is NOT the way to go. 🙂 a given for some, not a given for trail blazers. 🙂 we tend to plow now, think later. not cool. there is a place for me, but i need to know my place.
january comes along. i have this moment that is completely God. not me. didn’t happen through prayer. but a moment that slammed me upside the head and is one of those moments you just can’t run from. and it just so happened to be the solution to both of my issues. WOW! it was just one of those moments. you know what i’m talking about? it was the result of obeying, from the outside, would seem like a simple task. the fruit of obedience still overwhelms me. this experience showed me that praying scripture over situations is the way to go. not telling myself over and over again something positive (joel osteen/ joyce meyer kinda junk – i’m talking john macarthur, j. vernon mcgee stuff!) or simply ignoring the negative things going on around me. but acknowledging the problem. knowing i can’t do a thing about it, or if i can, i will do what i can. but then it’s not me. it’s God. and it’s beyond me. i’m not talking about praying for a parking space. i’m talking about praying for someone’s soul or praying against strongholds. or physically fighting wrong, flat out wrong belief systems.
ok a whole novel and you are thinking, where in the world is she going with this?
i guess i want to ask you what you think. not your sunday school answers. but your well thought out, soul searching deep, answer.
do you pray for others when they ask you to? do you intercede in a true, deep, on your knees crying out kind of way sometimes? and other times just a simple, “God you know the need…” kind of way? do you feel guilty when it’s the later and not the former?
do you think that praying for say, a sickness to go away is something that is done successfully and if so, how? how often is it a result of an action we took (side effects from a vaccine, exposed to a virus from someone else, food dye, pork, etc.)? in this case we would be begging for mercy for something we brought on ourselves. (bad example maybe, but i honestly can’t think of another right now… OH! i just thought of one, say starting to build a house in spring – rainy season vs waiting until july and having to fight the rain until july all the while praying and complaining for it to stop raining on us and ruining all our plans… it’s like WOW! the world is bigger than you and the rain can’t just stop and start at every individual’s needs.)
how do you pray for health? pray for a healthy baby? but this world is a sin-filled world. it’s not heaven. so we will have unhealthy children. disabled children. hardships. things we wish we wouldn’t have to deal with. things our children didn’t have to deal with. but disabilities or not. do you attempt to pray those hardships away? when we know full well, there is no real solution but heaven. and each hardship CAN be or COULD be used for God’s glory. so in praying for these situations to be eliminated, i’m praying for one less opportunity for God’s glory to shine. well that doesn’t seem right. but i don’t think he causes hardships to bring Glory to him. i believe that sin or this world CAN be used by him. but not caused by him.
so tell me, how do you pray? what do you pray for? what does it look like to you?
me personally, i’m sticking with praying scripture. this is something i’ve not done often. and i think this may just be the perfect place for me right now in this very confusing time for me. a dear friend of mine was so excited to hear this above journey – seeing the refining process and what is happening thrilled her. me, not so much. it’s uncomfortable and i don’t like feeling this confused. i do see the benefit of it. i do see the progress being made by this refining. but still so very unsure of myself. i feel like a calf trying to stand up for the first time. very vulnerable. so if you are wondering why i can’t get through signing a song. or expressing myself when you ask me how i’m really REALLY truly doing – you just might get tears instead of gushing about a house or some earthly thing, you might just get the soul deep stuff. the stuff that comes from singing and truly meaning this:
(click the photo and then click “we will worship you”)
“you are our only hope. for all we have to lose is our very soul. save us from these comforts. break us of our need for the familiar. spare us any joy that’s not of you. and we will worship you”