Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Prayer

Musings from John:

Do you pray?

Chances are you do, since most people in the US pray, even if they are not sure if they believe in God. Yet, I'm not sure that people expect that something will happen. Maybe they just do it as therapy; maybe it is an existintial cry of pain; quite often it may be something done because it is expected. When this conversation came up recently, one person in the group said that the only way that God speaks to us is through the Bible. If that is the case, is the conversation one-sided? The Wikipedia article on prayer asks, Why pray? Interestingly, it is generally assumed that it is for a personal reason and it doesn't go beyond that. Or if there is a God and He is listening, is it really necessary? Erwin McManus, in a great talk to a Christian crowd (see Mosaic podcast), points out that people from all religions pray - what should separate us is what we should expect in return.

So chime in: What do you expect to happen when you pray?

Let me personalize this: my family wants to be missionaries, even feel called, but in order for that to happen, some things need to be in place within a pretty short amount of time. Honestly, I am not exactly sure what to pray for, and have prayed for different things to happen; but most of the time, the prayer is a silent anxiousness, a tacit longing.

Oh, I know that we'll be fine, no matter what happens. I am struggling to move my thoughts more often to people around me that need far more help than my family. But if you have a moment to spare, I would certainly appreciate it...

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4 comments:

Ellyn said...

Yes, I pray. Yes, I believe that God talks to us through the Bible but is that the only way He talks to us? I don't believe so. I believe that God can do whatever He wants. I believe that God has spoken to me through the avenue of other people, thoughts in my head, or certain events happening.

I think it would be kind of pointless to pray if you thought it was onesided, it is then more self gratifying instead of relational.

I pray all the time--or I should say that I talk to God all the time. Sometimes it is in deep solemn reverance and sometimes it is more like I am chatting with God. Sometiems it is on my knees and sometimes it is in the car, or at work or in the living room or in bed or in the bathroom.

I guess I never thought of it as I expected something when I pray but I guess I do. Like in the case of Lauren Schwamb, I want and I guess expect God to heal her becuase hundreds of people including myself are asking for that. Sometimes, though, I just tell God what I want but then tell him that whatever He decides I will accept because He is God and He knows best.

Then there are the times that we don't know what to pray or don't have the words, that is when the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. I knwo when Jim was dying, I didn't know waht to tell God or ask God but I would just tell Him that. I would tell Him I was angry and I would ask for His understanding and comfort. I believe that is ok too.

Shayna Willis said...

Ellyn, it's good to hear someone else say that God speaks through thoughts in our heads. I think Carl looks at me funny when I tell him that God told me something. Glad to know it's normal. And I beleive he speaks to whoever listens.

John, I'll keep you in my prayers today. Keep me in your prayers as well. It's been a pretty crappy week.

buckeyeboy said...

I do pray, just not enough. Maybe that's why I don't always hear God when he talks to me. I believe God speaks to me through the Bible, but also in other ways. Opportunities that are laid in my path, choices I'm forced to make, people with whom I interact.

I continue to search for His way in my life. I must constantly remind myself that I am NOT God. That He has a plan and I'm not in charge. That's hard for me. Maybe that's where more prayer would be helpful.....

vaught_family said...

You know, I think I find more ways that God speaks the longer I am around and consider it. Thanks for your thoughts! I will certainly pray for you, Shayna.