In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Do you ever feel guilty about prayer?


I do.

Just this morning I was reminded again of what a prayer whimp I am as I was reading in Mark. I came across the following words in Mark 11:22-25 (MSG):

Jesus was matter-of-fact: "Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, 'Go jump in the lake'—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it's as good as done. That's why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you'll get God's everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it's not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins."

There's lots of stuff that I have felt is too much for me. In fact there's stuff right now I'm pretty certain is too much for me.

Even though there have been times that God in His greatness, mercy and grace has answered heavy duty big time prayers for me in miraculous ways, there are also times I pray and situations, year after year, remain the same.

In the Old Testament I see people building memorials so they won't forget when God does big stuff in their lives. I do that too; only not with stones. Typically it's in journal form. But lately I've decided to branch out more and do physical things, like plant a flower bush or tree or something so that I can see it daily as a reminder. I want to live in daily remembrance of all the good God has done for me.

But that doesn't mean I still don't have questions. It's not like I just pray over a situation and it's done. I mean the results I see being talked about here in Mark are incredible. The confidence to just say it and know it's done. I want to be like that.

Just last night a treasured new friend was at my home and sharing about a painful, ongoing, situation in her life. I felt grateful that another friend who was there, and I, could offer this woman the power of just being there, listening, being with her so she didn't have to be alone in the situation. Of course we also prayed for her. But I would have loved to pray for that situation to come out the way all three of us, anyone, would want it to and know that it was going to for sure happen. The stakes of it going the other way are just too high. When I read these verses it just sounds like I can do that; but this is not my experience all the time.

I'm glad that to have faith one doesn't have to have all the answers. Michael Spencer writes a blog entitled The internet Monk, that I enjoy reading. (In fact, on the right hand side here under the caption Blog posts worth reading today I have one of his posts entitled No Regrets; a better look at life listed). He wrote something yesterday that encourages me:

"I deeply disagree with those who say we should not speak of faith until we have answers. It shouldn’t take a lot of consideration to understand the answer may be “there’s no answer for this question.” If I have to go beyond that, I’m going at the expense of my integrity. Nothing good comes of that.”

I'm so grateful that I do not have to have it all together or have all the answers to be a follower of Jesus. That I can learn along the way. That it's a given that there is much I won't understand, may never understand. I can live with that.

What issues do you grapple with regarding prayer?

8 comments:

RCUBEs said...

Praying is easy...it's waiting for the answer that's hard to do sometimes...and like what you said, there may never be an answer...

For now, some things will remain mysterious but someday, everything will be revealed. I just pray that I remain trusting in Him no matter what answer I get with my prayers... I love that version from The Message. God bless you sister. Have a great day!

JD Curtis said...

Prayer....

My church will be having a prayer meeting on Saturday...for HOURS....

I've never really attended a session such as this but I look forward to it. It's in anticipation for our annual congregational meeting on Sunday, but I'm sure there will be opportunities for personal prayer as well. This ought to be interesting.

Robert Madewell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Madewell said...

"...and like what you said, there may never be an answer..."

I have a simple explaination for that, but you won't like it.

JD Curtis said...

PS. Tracy, I emailed your question to Mychal Massie. I'd like to know the answer myself. I think I can find the source of his information if he doesnt get back to me. If he replies, I'll notify you.

Ross said...

As someone involved in prayer ministry, I often struggle with seeing other peoples' prayers being answered, but not my own. Some situations have been in God's in tray for years. Still, I believe in the principle of delayed gratification.

sarah said...

I kind of agree with RCUBE. Waiting is the worst for me. Waiting because I'm so impatient and want everything right away. Good post. Sarah

Tracy said...

I think that's way cool JD, that you're stepping out and doing something different. It's also a great way for the church to be doing business; hours of prayer prior to the congregational meeting.

Sounds like we're all challenged by the waiting.

Robert, I want to make sure that you know that I appreciate your online "friendship" even though we come from different orientations - Thanks.

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