Closing the Gap 6.7.18

Week 22 “Why Pray?” Day 4

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Deut. 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

Reflect:

A mystery is not a contradiction.  A contradiction implies that an error is involved, while a mystery means there is more to be known than what we currently know.  God is completely in control and our prayers make a difference in outcomes.  This is a mystery, but it is not a contradiction.  Part of seeing how this works together is to view prayer as more than getting God to agree with us on what we want to happen.  Prayer can become mostly bargaining, or even attempts at manipulation, if we don’t see our relationship with God as a sort of partnership.  Not partnership in that we are his equal or that we can somehow “out vote” him on some issue. But a partnership in that you and God are both working towards the same goals.  You both desire to see your life maximize his glory and the good of others. Prayer is not trying to get God to see things your way. It is first and foremost about fostering the health of the relationship.  In human relationships, it is common for two people to sometimes see each other as opponents. Each one is vying for their own position and each one is somehow trying to “win.” The truth is, in any healthy relationship what matters most is the relationship itself. When there is disagreement on key issues, then the ultimate goal is not to “win” but to protect the relationship so that it can continue to thrive.  People will sometimes plead with God regarding some issue of great importance to them. As they plead it is hard to imagine how something so important to them could not be as important to God. When God does not “come through” as asked (or demanded), disillusionment can set in. Perhaps what happens is that they disagreed with God on a certain outcome and for them getting the desired outcome became the most important thing, not the relationship itself. Will you make prayer primarily about the relationship itself?  Communication among friends and family should not be just about getting the other person to see things your way. It should be, ideally, about building the relationship itself. You can ask him for anything, and your asking does matter in the outcomes. But how will you respond when he doesn’t agree with you on some matter of great importance? Move towards him, not away from him and in so doing you will be positioned to better understand what is of great importance to him.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)

Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

 

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