“We keep knocking, seeking and asking to keep maturing.” – Pastor Brad.
This young man says some really good stuff! And better yet, what he says makes me think. I love that!
God is looking for our faith, not the beauty of our prayed words. Are we trusting in the wording of our cries – or the God we’re calling out to?
Sometimes a thought crosses our mind that surprises us. Well, it happens to me, anyway.
In pondering the faith that fills my prayers (or should fill them), a prickly thought crept in: Am I looking forward to a day I’ll no longer need faith? Or to the day when my faith is all-consuming, abounding everywhere, always?
I savored the thought like a sip of old wine.
This would be the difference between looking at faith from the outside-in, as through a window at something we want to obtain vs. walking in that faith.
Our prayers can’t be uttered in faith when our lives are littered with sin. I wonder, what does God see when I pray without expectancy? Do I find myself in the same boat with the disciples when Jesus declared, “Oh ye of little faith…”
When I pray, “Heavenly Father, I want your peace, Your joy, Your power, Your presence…..” – How do I respond when He asks, “What will you do with it, Helen?”
Ouch! How would it feel to be praying and hear God call you out as a hypocrite? As the young preacher pointed out tonight, God isn’t afraid to speak plainly. Jesus instructed us not to pray like the hypocrites. As He taught us to pray, He was frank about those who prayed empty prayers for show.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others…” – Matthew 6:5 (NIV)
What do our prayers look like to God?
Another tantalizing line from Pastor Brad: “We’re praying because we know we’ve won!” I suppose too many of us are praying with hopes that we “win” – but the risen Christ is all the hope we need; we’re on the winning side!
Well, then what?
When God answers “this prayer” of yours – then what? For example, in response to a prayer for healing of some sort, “If I’m pain-free I can serve You better, Lord….”
Perhaps if we serve Him better, our pain will disappear. And by better, I mean, with a more open heart; willingly, not begrudgingly – with love. Maybe we need to walk out the “then what” as we pray…
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” –Mark 11:24 (NIV)
And to drive home the prayer of expectancy, Pastor Brad used this verse:
“But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.” – Philemon 1:22 (NKJV)
Roll a few of these tasty nuggets around in your head – then in your heart; ponder them with me. What are your thoughts on the matter?