Monday, August 31, 2015

TRUST AND FOCUS IN PRAYER


I have caught myself, more than a few times, speaking to God as a genie - having a wishlist for instant satisfaction. I get conflicted sometimes, remembering how immediate Christ's response was to most of those that asked of His power - usually healing. Now-a-days it seems I receive more of His "No" or "Wait" replies. I should be grateful that He even answers and comply with my Majesty - Father God through His Son Christ Jesus. However, I am stubborn in some areas and desire to know how God operates as much as possible.

For instance, Jesus says in John 14:13-14 to ask for anything in His name and He will do it to glorify His Father in Heaven. Many have assumed "anything" means anything and asked for things that evidently received a "No" answer. I have found there are frivolous things to request of my King. However, we do have a helper in this area.

  • "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-27 ESV)
Notice "we do not know what to pray for as we ought". The word "ought" in the original Greek is dei which means know as necessary. So, the idea is communicated that there are things on God's heart and mind that He deems necessary for us to bring to Him in prayer, yet we are clueless. But fear not, "the Spirit helps us in our weakness." How does The Spirit go about this? He "searches hearts" and "intercedes for the saints according to the will of God" with "groanings too deep for words".

In another instance, it is so difficult for me, at times, to accept "No" or "Wait" from God as Father when I am going through the trial/challenge. I understand the function of prayer but just do not grasp God's strategy or process of answering. In Other Words...I comprehend that prayer should be more than a respectful presentation of one's petitions before God. Concepts such as thanksgiving and praise should be incorporated into my prayers also. They are faith-builders. They cite God's track record with me and confirm His Faithfulness. This I know. It is the answers of "No" or "Wait" and the elusive why that trouble me. This is definitely where trust plays a part in a big way.

I guess prayer is my privilege and answering is God's prerogative. Prayer is my privilege in that I now have access behind The Veil through Christ who "is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us [me]." (Romans 8:34) His prerogative, if I should be so blessed to receive an immediate answer, would be well received. However, sometimes God says "No" and sometimes God says, "Wait". During these times I need to learn to trust God without an explanation from Him. Adopt the attitude of Father God knows best. The Holy Spirit depicted that attitude through the prophet Isaiah - 
  • “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9)
His superior knowledge and direction does not mean to stop seeking Him in prayer. No. I believe, seeking His face/presence first in prayer goes a long way in knowing how to tackle every issue. Persistence helps also (see the woman of Luke 18:1-8). However, if you were someone with many answers and that is all anyone came to you for - I imagine that would get old very quickly. I would desire to spend some face-time with the individual and show them there is more to me than just this one facet - answering problems. I believe that is God's heart with prayer. Not to treat it solely as the means for getting, but also the means to bless God and discover many other sides to His Majesty.

In the past, I have asked God, "Don't you desire me to be well instantly?" I continue to return to 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Here it charges me to "fix [my] eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." I am reminded of a great song entitled "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus". The lyrics go - 
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the Light of His Glory and Grace."

I am learning to trust in God's answer(s) and turn my eyes more upon Him in prayer.