Posts Tagged ‘disbelief’

Refusing to pray 

(Please excuse the formatting and any typos in this post. I’m writing it on my phone, which is all I have right now. But that is a story for another post.)

When it rains it pours. And tonight it is pouring. To the extent that I felt the urge to pray but then almost immediately I dismissed it. But I was/am desperate so I prayed. After I finished praying I asked myself if God would hear me. I doubted whether He is moved enough by my cry to change His mind and let His will be subservient to my will. 

It’s been almost two years since I prayed. How is that possible you might ask. Especially if you know me; I’m very active in the church, always preaching, teaching and ministering to others. So maybe I should qualify my statement. It’s been almost two years since I’ve genuinely prayed for myself. I can easily pray for others and know God will hear me but a part of me thinks that God doesn’t hear me when I pray for myself. Or that my prayer won’t change anything about my circumstance. 

As soon as I think these thoughts I’m reminded about the words: “prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us.” Or I think about the fact that we are supposed to pray for “God’s will,” that somehow, some day our will, will align with His. And I truly want all those things. But sometimes I find myself reluctant to pray because I wonder if God cares about the things I care about. If they bother Him the same way they bother me. I think about mothers who lost their children to sickness, they must have prayed. God must have heard? But what did that change? Miracles happen. But more often than not they don’t. Those are the stories that don’t get told. The testimonies that don’t get sung. 

I think about my own prayer two years ago, I was night and day on my knees. I prayed in faith. Knowing God would do it. Trusting Him, claiming the victory. A victory that never came. I have since come to terms with that loss and even now see the gain in it, but today when I really needed God to step in and do something for me I found myself hesitating. Hesitating to ask God to do any miracles on my behalf. Why would he? Why should he? There are a million people more deserving, with more pressing issues they’re facing. 

But somehow I managed to pray for my own miracle. I don’t know at this moment if my cry will move God. But I am reminded of stories in the Bible when Jesus said, “your faith has made you whole,” or when Jacob fought with God and said “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Thus I will hold on to God a little longer. And whether or not this prayer is answered, my tiny prayer has already changed me, and my will is slowly learning to become subservient to His. 

The God Problem

God

Intellectuals often ask, “Why doesn’t God intervene more? Or shower us with miracles until we can’t take anymore? Why doesn’t He feed the hungry, heal the sick or prevent war?”

 

They wonder, “If God really exists, why doesn’t He take a more active role in caring for humanity and providing for the poor?”

 

Even the self-proclaimed Christian can admit that they often think: that maybe, their ‘God’ –is just a myth.

 

Pastors, preachers, and teachers, sitting at home doubting the Word. The struggles of life making them remote, from the God they outwardly promote. They question their beliefs. Wondering if it’s real, or if they are the Emperor in Chief: parading before the people without clothes—just empty prose.

 

Nevertheless, we must confess, that all of these questions are based on our own weakness. The flesh. We assume that if God did reveal Himself, all doubts would vanish and that we would follow Him without wasting one breath.

 

But the Israelites saw God in their flesh, but His presence, left them overwhelmed and feeling bereft. God showed them His power, but in front of new challenges they cowered. Every day a miracle—like new food falling from the sky. But they could not see past their own eyes.

 

Hearts hardened, barely listening. Pillar of cloud and fire. But even to Moses they couldn’t listen. So to follow God? No. His will was not their mission.

 

Tell me. What more from God could they desire? And you, what do you require? You see its not miracles that can make us witness: That it’s the Holy Spirit giving us spiritual fitness. And when we doubt; we too, are like the Israelites facing a new drought.

 

Forget not the Red Sea and all that God has done for thee. The time is coming, and almost is, when all our tears and sorrow shall not exist. When God will take care of the poor and worry shall be no more. So when in doubt, know that you are not alone. Open your bible and pray to God, it’s like calling Him on the phone. He sees your heartache and the disappointment in your eyes, but recognize—that it was for YOU He died.