Sunday, October 10, 2010

GOD AND OUR PRAYERS

This comments was left on my last blog; Of course God does not answer all prayers.  You pray for one team. Someone else prays for the other. Someone's prayer doesn't get answered.  I pray for a job. You pray for the same job.

Anonymous, you may be absolutely correct on this, but I wish to shed a possible different light. 

First, I think God does answer all prayers.  He answers them all with a "Yes"...II Cor. 1:18-20.  You get the job and I don't when we have been praying for the same job?  A yes happened to you and a yes happened to me for He has other options for me.

Second, I wasn't praying for Rick Ankiel's team.  I was praying for him.  By way of further explanation, I wasn't praying that he win.  I was seeking God's grace to build him up. 

Third, for you to imply God doesn't favor teams is to imply God doesn't favor believing corporations or companies or CEO's, etc.  I think He does.

Finally, just from the few words you expressed, is there a spirit of doubt regarding prayer?  As I just did, you surely have "further explanation".  Yet on the surface it seems you would not bother to pray for a job or blessings or grace, etc. for whatever will be will be.  Correct or not?

The reason I inquire is the church in places is stuck dead in its tracks for lack of prayer due to a humanistic approach to the workings of God.  Some have faith in God and other have faith in doubt. 

If I've misunderstood you, my error.  Your response seems to say....things went well for Rick because things went well and there was no need to pray.  I'm not feeling defensive for me; but I am for prayer.  Did I misunderstand?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

John 14
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

My point is this: sometimes we take things from the Bible far too literally--simple logic tells us that God can't grant everything that we ask for (e.g., I pray for a specific job, and you pray for the exact same one.)

It's like telling someone, "I would have given you anything, if you had just asked." Of course we didn't mean literally 'anything.' That's doesn't capture the meaning of such a statement at all.

Personally, though, I think we should ask for anything and everything that is in our heart to ask of God, especially before we go out to try to grab it for ourselves. I think that's one of the ways that God shows us His heart--by the way that He responds to us. It's a critical part of relationship-building with God through the Holy Spirit. But we shouldn't believe too literally.

The letter kills in many ways, and sticking to the letter of what is written is also a killer of Christians.

Brian said...

Prayer is a vitally important part of our communication with God. I believe that all prayers are answered. However, not all prayers are answered the same. Some are a flat out no. Some, God makes some adjustments and at other times, it a yes. A no to prayer isn't a demonstration of God's lack of caring, but just the opposite, He knows what is best for us.

Nehemiah is a great example of how we need to pray. Just like Jesus taught in Matthew 6.

Nehemiah's prayer is straight-forward. Nehemiah first gives adoration, but then appeals to God to be attentive to the things in the prayer: In verses 1:6 and 1:11.

Nehemiah's prayer was not a five minute or less, but rather it lasted for days. He fasted and prayed over the bad report he had received about Jerusalem. Notice, Nehemiah did not take matters into his own hands, but rather, he made an appeal to God to do something.

Nehemiah's first go to person was God! Nehemiah 1:4. Nehemiah did not settle for anything less than God's undivided attention.

God is attentive! We must believe that He can and will provide what we need and what will bring the most glory to Him!

Anonymous said...

In case my first reply was not specific enough ...

Rest assured, Mr. Rush, that I never interpreted your statements as prayer for a ball team or for a player to win. That never even crossed my mind.

And please understand that I would never discourage sincere prayer of any kind, even if it didn't sound like something I would pray for. That's none of my business. That's how we thwart and destroy developing relationships between God and His children through the Holy Spirit. We should never become mediator between anyone and God; that job is taken.

Conversations with others are an important part of the way we get to know others.

But it is definitely worth pointing out that this cannot be interpreted in a simplistic, literal way: You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. Logic prevents a literal interpretation, and adding endless rules nullifies its meaning, too, as we reduce such a statement to tautologies such as "You can ask of me anything that I already was going to do, and I will do it." That's how life, Spirit, and meaning are sucked right out of prayer life. Talk to God. Enter into relationship. Don't be afraid to ask for and talk about anything. You'll have no real relationship if you don't. We've got to learn His heart. It's not about looking for a crazy way to make that statement into a valid law--that's way off the mark.