Sunday, January 25, 2009

Praying in Faith

There is a war going on in my mind.  I don't know how to pray in faith.  I know that it is biblical to pray expectantly, in faith, knowing that God desires to do good to His children.  

"He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"  Romans 8:32

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for afish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"  Matthew 7:7-11

My pitfall is this:  As soon as I pray, asking God for whatever I may be desiring, I immediately go to the thought, "He probably won't do what I've asked, because of all those other times my prayers weren't answered the way I wanted them to be."  My mom dying really shattered a portion of my prayers for a while (it's still not quite healed).  I had never begged and pleaded for anything so much in my life, and yet, it was not God's will for her to live.  My "petition" prayers became non-existent after that, because I believed that since God will do as He pleases, why should I even tell Him what I want?  I don't want to live or pray this way anymore, because it is unbiblical, but I don't quite understand the balance of knowing that God wants us to pray and to ask Him for what our hearts desire, but also recognizing that ultimately, what He has ordained will prevail.  Help!  Thoughts? Scriptures?  Books on the topic?  I would appreciate any advice that anyone has to share about this, especially if you have wrestled through similar issues.  

The interesting thing about this blog post is, I literally just finished typing the top part up to this point, and I decided to flip through my Valley of Vision book.  In it, I just read a prayer called, "The Divine Will."  Here is an excerpt that has given me insight into the very topic I was asking about just minutes ago:  

"Help me to pray in faith and so find thy will,
by leaning hard on thy rich free mercy, 
by believing thou wilt give what thou hast promised;

Strengthen me to pray with the conviction 
that whatever I receive is thy gift,
so that I may pray until prayer be granted;

Teach me to believe that all degrees of mercy arise
from several degrees of prayer,
that when faith is begun it is imperfect and must grow, 
as chapped ground opens wider and wider until rain comes.

So shall I wait thy will, pray for it to be done, 
and by thy grace become fully obedient."

So ironically, in my asking for help to understand how to pray in faith, God has answered.  :-)  
I love Him.

Please let me know any further insight you may have on this topic, as I will still need all the help I can get in understanding.  Thank you!


Anonymous said...

I have been earnestly praying each day for almost a year for God to bring someone into my life, a kind wife. At the same time I realize more and more (by actual experience)that I don't deserve anyone after the selfishness I have shown. So part of me is resolved to this, but I still long for another chance. In the meantime I see maturity in me as I depend on the lord for my happiness. But I'm passionately honest sometimes and plead with him. Gen 2:22,18 Proverbs 18:22 and so on. But the grip of my desires in this regard are loosening. Jesus and Paul were single! Keep on telling God your thoughts, I have a story about a man who thinks Job suffered because of his "lack of faith".

Live Oak said...

I know how important Faith is, it is what excites God, He respinds and rises to it. While I surely don't know all the answers, this I know...Job letting his "hedge of faith" down wasn't the reason for his suffering...because the Bible tells us so (in Chapter 1)Job's friends blamed him and they were wrong! This man who thought it was somehow Job's "fault" was wrong.