Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Thoughts on Prayer

Over the last few years, I have struggled a lot with the reasons for prayer. I'm sure I have shared this once before. I know WHY we pray, but I don't know why we pray for specific things. If those things aren't God's will, why do we pray for them? I grew up always believing that you only have to ask and you shall receive. After the premature birth of my children and the death of my son. . . how can that be true? I don't know how many times I prayed for my children both before and after I got pregnant. Is praying going to change God's mind? And if it can. . .what did I do wrong when I prayed on my children's behalf? Did I not get enough people to pray? Did I not pray correctly? Did I pray right for Olivia, but not for Logan? It is our human nature to rely on God to "take away" our hardships. Anyone who has been through an excrutiatingly painful time knows that isn't true. HE doesn't take away difficult times. . .but HE does help you through it. Does HE give you more than you can handle? YES. But, HE doesn't give you more than HE can handle.

Why am I talking about this tonight? I don't know. A few weeks ago, I realized something. I was getting so frustrated with Olivia's lack of eating and her struggles with oral sensitivity. It seemed no one could help me and I didn't know what to do. I realized that never once had I prayed about it. Now, don't get me wrong. I pray. I pray prayers of thanksgiving. . .I pray for strength. . .I pray for peace, I pray for others, but I still struggle when praying for specific things. I put that aside and I just asked God to help Olivia eat better so that she can grow big and strong. I asked God to help me know how to help her and to relieve the stress that it causes me. Then, while sick. . .she didn't eat for 5 days. :) However, after that. . .it's as if something clicked and she learned that food is okay to eat and swallow. And, not just every once in awhile with pizza or ice cream cake. (Sometimes she didn't even want to eat that.) Now, she is eating on a fairly consistent basis. She may never be a great eater, but she is coming such a long way. Is it because of my prayer? I don't know. Maybe that unknown is why we pray for specific things. It doesn't hurt to let God know what you feel that you need. Don't we want our children to let us know what they want even though there is no possible way that you could give it to them? They may not understand it, but you know what is best. So does our Father. . .no matter how painful that may be at times. But still. . . .pray.


Laura said...

I love that I pray to a God that is too big for me to understand. Thank you for the beautiful reminder about prayer.

Sarah said...

Whenever I pray for specific things I always think of the parable of the widow and the unjust judge.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. [2] He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. [3] And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'

[4] "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, [5] yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

[6] And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. [7] And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? [8] I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

In some weird way I figure maybe, just maybe, I can wear God out lol :)

But I've gone through a period where I feel it's pointless to pray to God because I felt like he didn't answer my prayers regarding Emery. But I'm always reminded that God wants a relationship with me regardless of how I feel and what I want to happen.

And I'm not going to give you trite answers about Logan's death or the premature birth or infertility, only that we live in a broken world and Jesus wept at the pain of it. I imagine when Oliva and Logan were born, Jesus wept with you.

Megan B ♥ said...


Anonymous said...

I read your post this morning and it has stuck with me..then I sat down to work on my Beth Moore Bible study on Esther and something she was talking about flew off the pages at me! I thought of you and this post and pretty much any Christian who struggles with the bad and hard things we face. She was talking about Psalms 16:5-6. It talks about God giving us our portion and our cup and securing our lot. Basically she said it refers to our destiny. In my study guide she said this"No matter what life - or Satan himself - hands us, the favor God has on His children causes that "lot" to tumble out on the table in such a way that, instead of destruction, the child will discover that her portion turned into destiny one trusting step at a time..." I don't know if this will help, but I thought of you.

Julie Hamlett

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I feel like my faith can be severely tested. How can God let these things happen? Why doesn't he DO anything? Doesn't he care? Of course. I think of one of my favorite poems, "The Footprints of God".