I made use of to think that prayer is what produced the distinction – that if you had sufficient faith combined with sufficient prayer, then just about something was attainable. People’s hearts could turn, courts could be moved and harm could be undone. I sincerely believed that.
It is not that I oppose prayer of this nature…or that I do not think in it. I nevertheless uncover prayer to be pretty effective.
Having said that, when you see prayer as a process to get you the outcome you believe you ought to have, or that your marriage ought to have, or that your well being ought to have or that your job ought to have – it is no longer a sacred act – it is about transaction. Exactly where you think if you “do” this, you will “receive” this.
Transaction is a effective motivator, I will not deny that. But, what occurs when the transaction fails? When it does not operate?
This is when items get difficult and generally pretty messy. Pastors will counsel that perhaps God had a distinctive program than what you wanted, or that we do not generally “understand” why items come about the way they do or (God forbid, the worst attainable response ever) that you didn’t have sufficient faith. In other words, YOU DID IT Incorrect.
When you view the basis of your outcomes on your potential to “get God’s attention” or “gain God’s favor”, I have to query what sort of a God you are praying to?
What sort of God appears down at the mother of a kid dying from cancer and says, “sorry, you didn’t have pretty sufficient faith with that prayer, guess we have to go with program B” or sees the weeping betrayed spouse and says, “well, you didn’t quickly that added day, so I’m sorry, I’m not going to turn your husband’s heart about soon after all”.
As cynical as this might sound, this is the root of what lots of people today think. That the “power” of prayer is dependent on your potential to do it appropriate. Do it sufficient. Do it with the appropriate scriptures. And do it with sufficient faith.
But, is that actually faith?
Is it actually faith when you think the energy of your prayer rests on your potential to get the transaction just appropriate? Or does it take far more faith to think that God sees, cares and is moved with compassion no matter if you pray or not?
I do not think faith is located in the light – I think faith rests in the darkest of dark. And, no I do not think God “gives you a cost-free pass” merely since your situations are grim. (I do not believe God operates like a hall monitor).
Prayer is not a way to “get God’s attention”, since I think I currently have it.
Prayer does not grant me far more favor, since I think I currently have God’s favor.
Faith rests in being aware of God sees, cares and is moved no matter what I do.
But, as a former leader and pastor myself, I admit that I nevertheless struggle with this.
The belief that prayer can obtain you favor, not only causes you to really feel like you are regularly vying for God’s focus (which is exhausting), but it starts to sprout a belief that you are far more worthy of a breakthrough than your fellow neighbors.
Right after all, if Joe down the street who watches porn, eats pizza each and every evening and gambles gets a breakthrough with his predicament but the girl who fasts and prays does not – properly, that is just not fair. God HAS to reward the one particular with the finest behavior. HE HAS TO.
This is what I believed.
And, it tends to make me sick.
Factors develop into true clear when you uncover your self aching on the bottom of the pile with the Joes of the globe. When you recognize that you are no far better than they are – that your agony and discomfort goes just as deep – and that none of us are seeing the outcome we hoped for….a wave of humility rushes in and alterations every little thing.
Which leads me to exactly where I have landed as of lately:
The abuse victim who cries out in prayer, is just as crucial to God as the one particular who does not.
The betrayed spouse who fasts, is just as beloved by God as the one particular who eats loads of Oreos.
The broken family members who memorizes Bible verses, is just as favorable to God as the family members who does not.
The kid dying from cancer whose parents are also angry to pray, is just as crucial to God as the kid in the subsequent area whose parents are praying regularly.
There are NO favorites.
To quote an individual wiser than me, “the ground is level at the foot of the cross”. No one particular stands larger than the other.
Prayer for me lately has been in the breaths. In the moments exactly where I inform myself I can do difficult items. Prayer resides in lengthy auto rides exactly where I really feel alone and angry. Prayer is when I am also angry to speak to God since I prayed against situations like this taking place in the very first location. Prayer has develop into much less about what I say and far more about what I do not being aware of that God hears and sees it all anyway.
And, in my anger and lack of words, somehow I uncover sacred ground. I uncover a peace that says, “you are enough”. I uncover rest from all the undertaking and peace in just the getting. Peace in getting angry. Peace in getting sad. Peace in getting joyful. And peace in getting tired. Peace in speaking. Peace in getting silent. Peace in reading scripture. Peace in placing it aside.
When we surrender our “rights” to govern more than our situations and position ourselves with humility as the human beings that we are, we land on holy ground.