More Thoughts On Prayer
Wow! Prayer really is a hot button topic. Lots of comments. Lots of private messages. All sweet.
Let me say that I am just muddling through this life the same as you. I don't have all the answers. The Bible says that here "we see through a glass, darkly", and that on earth we know only "in part". (1 Corinthians 13:12) We are just not going to understand or get everything until we stand in God's presence in Heaven. Romans 11:33 reminds us that His ways are "past finding out" while we live here in this mortal body. I might be a little further down the road than some, but I fail God miserably. Often!
But we'll talk about a couple of things. First, my choice of the word 'structure'. I am referring to my last blog post, 'Marching Right On Up'. More structure was my goal because of what Jesus taught. He taught us how to pray with the Lord's prayer. I don't believe He meant for us to repeat it word for word, but instead to use as a model. He told us to pray "after this manner". And so, I was continually striving to do a better job at that kind of prayer. I believed (and still do) that if God gave instructions on this specific type of prayer, then I should listen up. The Lord's prayer has a certain structure (which maybe we'll talk about another time), and I've always wanted to be more obedient to that.
Nothing formal about the list. I just don't want to forget anyone who I've promised to pray for.
Another thing that I've been asked is why we really need to pray, since God knows our thoughts and needs better than we do. That is an excellent question and I used to wonder that myself. But I've learned a couple of things along the way to answer this question:
1. God created us to have fellowship with Him. Read about our purpose here and here. Prayer is fellowship with Him. He waits for us. He yearns for us. I know that sounds crazy. Why would He want me? But He does. God waits for us to run to Him and cry out to Him. It pleases Him for us to do so. We NEED to fulfill our purpose to be happy.
2. It is of very great benefit to us and our well being. Prayer and fellowship with God feeds our soul and renews our joy. You just can't be depressed when you've spent time in His presence. (I know...I'm not dismissing chemical depression, but that is rare!) When He sees me coming with my pitiful broken heart, He scoops me up and loves on me like nobody's business! I used to tell the kids that they just needed to go snuggle up with Jesus. Prayer does me so much good! It's not a duty, but is for my benefit! It makes me happy!
And the last thing that I've heard a lot since that post on prayer is this: People tell me that they don't know what to pray for. I understand this. When you are in the middle of some trial or tragedy, or you are in a bad place mentally or emotionally, it's difficult to find the words. God's got that covered, too.
Romans 8:26 says, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
Oh my word! Does God know us or what?!? Just make a move toward Him and be still and wait. Listen and try not to think. Just tell Him you want Him. The Holy Spirit within you (if you are His) will pray for you. Get in that habit and watch what God will do!
We began with 1 Corinthians 13:12. There is more to that verse. It tells us that we won't always see through that glass, darkly, but someday we will see Him "face to face". He assures me that I won't always just "know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." Glory! I'm gonna get to see Him and be with Him! I won't have any more questions then!
I pray this has helped you. I know it has helped me! :)