Ben has challenged/inspired/encouraged me to try writing one serious post a week. Don’t know if I can, but I’d really like to. He says I could be kind of like Jon Acuff, who has “Serious Wednesday” on his blog “Stuff Christians Like“. And… that’s the only way that I could be like Jon Acuff! Anyway. Here’s something different than parenting and homeschooling and housework that I’ve been thinking about lately:
I’ve been thinking about prayer.
I’ve realized that sometimes, I only pray safe prayers, because I’m not brave enough to pray for miracles.
Sometimes I’ve only asked God for things that I was pretty sure He would give me. That way, I wouldn’t have to be disappointed by Him saying “no”.
I got to a point in my life where I tried to “filter” all of my prayers. I tried to figure out for myself what God’s will was in my life so that when I prayed and asked God for stuff, I was just asking for the things that He was planning on giving me anyway, and I was more likely to get a “yes”.
As I write this, it sounds really dumb, but in all honesty, it’s what I was trying to do, without ever realizing it.
I did it because I was so scared of what would happen to my faith if nothing happened when I prayed.
It happened because I got pretty sick about 11 years ago, and I prayed hard for healing. Many other people prayed for healing for me. I was anointed with oil and all that kind of stuff. And nothing happened.
There was no dramatic healing.
I learned to live with it, and over time, things got better, but it is something that I deal with to this day.
And I didn’t know how to work through that. I prayed with faith. I begged and pleaded with God.
And there was no miracle.
I didn’t want to be ticked off with Him, or lose faith in the power of prayer. So I just stopped asking for things.
But then this last winter, I read something that is changing my life. I read that we should never allow the times God says “no” to keep us from asking Him for miracles in the future.
Our faith in God should not be dependent on how many miracles we receive.
I believe in God. I believe He loves me, and cares for me, and hears me every single time I pray, whether I get everything I ask for or not.
My faith in Him will not change with getting a yes or a no from Him when I pray.
So I’m learning to just ask away! To ask for big things – HUGE things, because sometimes He really wants to give me miracles.
And when He does say “no”, I’m learning not to whine or pout, but to trust Him, move on, and try again next time.
There’s this amazing story about David’s prayers in the Bible. Everyone knows the story about David and Bathsheba, but there’s a part of their story that isn’t talked about so much.
It’s the part where God tells David that although he is forgiven for his sin, he will still have to suffer the consequences. David and Bathsheba’s baby will die.
David begs and pleads with God to spare his child. For days, he doesn’t eat or do anything, other than to beg God to change His mind.
But the baby dies anyway. And the servants are scared to tell David that his child is dead. They say to each other, “If this is how he’s been acting while the child was still alive, what is he going to do when he finds out that the baby is dead?”
They’re expecting a pretty emotional, overwhelming response, and they’re not sure they want to be around for it.
But someone has to tell him, and when David hears the news, he shocks them all.
His response is to get up, bathe, dress, and …go to the house of the Lord to worship. And then he eats a good meal.
And the servants are confused. They don’t understand why he’s doing this.
But David says, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.'” (2 Samuel 12: 22-23)
He gets a “no”. His child dies. He accepts it. And he worships God.
I want to be like that. To pray with great spirit, to lay myself bare and vulnerable before God, to ask for anything…and to worship Him even when He says “no”.