Thursday, June 05, 2008

prayers

I'm coming to see that any prayers in Jesus have value. We're to pray in the Spirit, but even when we don't sense the Spirit helping us in our praying, we're to pray.

Of course the best praying is in the context of seeking to hear God. We do that by reading the word, and seeking to listen with the goal of hearing God. Sensing what God may be saying to us. Or just wanting to be open to whatever God is doing, even if we don't understand it.

We're to pray as in pouring out our hearts to God, but we're to pray according to God's heart, whether or not our heart is in that or not. And part of that prayer is that God's will would be done, even if it means our will is not. And that God would give us a heart that wants to do his will. In Jesus and as members of God's family, we have that already, though we can drift away from that, as well.

For all kinds of reasons we need to keep right on praying. Don't wait until you feel like it. Don't wait for the Spirit to move you to pray. Let's pray. In the Spirit, yes. But in whatever state we're in. As we go on in this world, we know we need it. And if we know we need prayers, we know others we love need them as well. And we need prayer simply as a part of our communion with God. And for the world of people and God's will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Prayers are natural for us as God's children. But they're also a part of the phenomenon of walking by faith, not by sight. So in that darkness, our prayer may not be pretty. Matters not at all! In fact those kind of stumbling, halting prayers may be the most beautiful in God's eyes, as God sees us continuing in faith when it's hardest for us to do.

What thoughts would you like to share with us on prayers and praying?

8 comments:

Rachel Mc said...

I too have come to realize that all prayers have value. I am also learning that sharing prayer with others, even struggling - bare it all prayers, helps keep my faith up and helps me to center on praying for God's will, not the "answer to my prayer." I have a quote on my office bulletin board that reads " The purpose of prayer is not to get what we want, but to become what God wants."
I actually find many prayer times a struggle between God & I, God trying to get control and my fighting to stay in control. But in looking back over the last year, I can see my spiritual growth and it is directly linked to my prayer life.
In certain situations I haven't had the courage to pray that God would help me accept His will, because I am afraid His will is so not what I want in the situation...I am working on that.

lorenzothellama said...

I really like Rachel's comment. I find praying such a struggle.

You say we should pray according to God's heart. How do we know what is in God's heart? So many times I've heard people say God says this, or God says that (famously God told Bush to go to war), but don't you think that sometimes these 'answers' are just the empty echoes of our own thoughts, needs and wants?

NaNcY said...

i suspect that i have no clue as to the height of importance of prayer.

i do know that when i talk to God that some of my ways of thinking are altered when i try to express them. sometimes when i start to put my thoughts and feelings into an expression to God, i see them in a different light, they can seem selfish, or impatient. and sometimes even while they show me my faults, it just feels good to share it with God and tell Him my fears in letting go of certain things. sometimes i ask for Him to have patience with me and to help me gently because i am afraid.

prayer seems to bring light into any situation, even though th situation is not changed in the way i would like it to.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Rachel,
Very good thoughts and practice.

Trying to pray always according to the will of God is so important. And then seeking by grace in Jesus to live accordingly. God will answer in that way, if we persevere in faith.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lorenzo,
Yes. Oftentimes what we may think is God's heart is really just our own heart. Alot of self-deception can occur.

We have to go to Scripture to find God's heart. And God confirms all of that in Jesus.

And our prayers can and should include the petition asking God to lead us in and according to his will. (see 1 John 5:14-15). We need to make finding God's will and living in it, in Jesus, a vital part of the center of our lives.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Yes, it's good to listen to our own prayers, really hear what we're saying. Are we really seeking God and his will for us in Jesus? Though it's important for us to keep coming to him, just as we are. By faith in Jesus, God will change us over time. We can't let go of that truth and hope.

preacherman said...

I love hearing my boys pray. Sometimes they sing the prayer. It is so cute.
It is:
God our father
God our fahter
Once again
Once again
Thank you for our blessings
Amen.
Amen.

At night I pray with my blog.
It is such a wonderful time that I enjoy. The thing they want to pray about is so cute. :-)

Thanks for this great post Ted.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kinney,
Thanks for sharing that about your boys. They have a father to learn from firsthand as truth is caught more than taught.

You too, brother, and thanks!