I struggle with prayer. I understand it’s supposed to be like having a conversation with God. I get that part. What I struggle with is reconciling verses like “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24) with the knowledge that God has a plan and purpose and sometimes to fit his purpose the answer is no. I even struggle with praying to ask for anything. Generic examples: praying for a job, praying for healing, praying for x, y or z to happen– I don’t see a point in praying for these things. That is because I trust that God is Sovereign and He holds every moment of my life in His hands. I don’t need to ask for things like this because I know that they are woven into His plan and at the perfect time He will unveil them. Even as I write this I know it must not be right, because we are told to “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. God wants us to pray to Him, but in this context it doesn’t make sense. I certainly understand praying to praise God or praying just to spend time with Him, but praying for a friend to be healed from a terminal illness… I don’t get it. God has already decided the moment that person will be taken from this earth and perhaps He is going to do it through this illness. Am I to change God’s mind with my prayers?
Does anyone else struggle with this or am I over-thinking it too much? Sound off in the comments section below!
Greetings, bloglings. I recently celebrated my one year wedding anniversary. So, I decided I wanted to share some of the vast wisdom I’ve acquired in 365 days of marriage. Surely when you read this blog it will immediately improve your marriage, even if you’re not married!
Now, in all seriousness, I am not actually claiming to be vastly wise, nor am I claiming to be a marriage expert. I will honestly say I have failed to do things I should have done and hope there are things I will still do or things I will become better at doing.
Alright, enough of my dawdling. From even before we exchanged our vows, I have tried to take seriously the part of scripture that says “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25) I’ve tried to think about what it means to give myself up for my wife. That could very well play out in the practical giving of my life to save hers, which I would readily do, but I wanted to apply this verse to everyday life. It could mean compromising one of my desires to please her. It could mean thinking of my wife first and my self last. It could mean I surprise her by cooking dinner or cleaning something etcetera etcetera.
Here’s the lightbulb-over-the-head of this post: I realized early and have recently reminded myself that the most real and everyday way giving myself up for my wife is to intentional do things for her that I don’t feel like doing. When I’ve had a long day and I’m tired and achy and just want to veg out, the last thing I want to do for my wife is (fill in the blank) so that is the very thing I do. Be it laundry, dishes, walking the dog, taking out the trash, running to the store– if your first thought is “Heck no, I don’t want to do that,” then you should probably go ahead and suck it up and give yourself up for your wife. It will show her you love her and certainly bless her heart.
This might not be everyone’s conclusion, so I want to hear from you! What do you think giving yourself up for your wife means?
Today in church there was a time during the service that at one point in my life I would have called a “sweet time of worship” or maybe even a “moving of the Spirit”. In those days I attended a church whose youth group was “on fire for the Lord”. They were also sometimes characterized as “prayer warriors”. We put on awesome worship services, full of deeply passionate worship and fervent prayer. Then we went out from there and lived like the devil during the week days.
So today in church I found myself feeling almost nothing. It’s not to say that I didn’t believe the words we were using to describe God. Nor would I say that from time to time I don’t turn on music in the car and sing out God’s praises. I’ve just found myself being skeptical. Perhaps even jaded by my experiences. I find my intellect arguing with itself. Are these times in church just a big manufactured hoopla or am I just being a desensitized oaf? I wouldn’t dare to judge the motives or spiritual states of the people in my church, this is more an introspective journey.
Does this resonate with anyone or am I being daft?
God has been trying to teach me something for a while. I think it has finally come to some coherent words that I thought might be worth sharing with you. Please take note that everything I say to ‘you’ I am also saying to myself.
Let’s start with some questions. How’s your walk with God? Do you read the Bible every day? Do you spend some quiet time in prayer and in listening for God’s word to you? Do you think about your Creator and Savior throughout the day? These are some questions that have been punching me in the face recently. I have been struggling greatly with consistent personal devotion and quiet time with God. The Spirit has been hot on my trail, convicting me of this blemish in my life. I feel like it’s best to start your day with God. Get up in the morning, get your coffee going and dive into God’s word. Spend some time praying before taking off into the lunacy known as the workday. Sadly though, I am not a morning person. This is not my hour of extreme productivity or consciousness. So, I ignore God in the morning. I might think of God during the workday here or there. When I make it to the evening and the time is not already filled up, I still ignore God. I selfishly want to do what I want to do, or I simply just don’t feel like taking the effort to engage him. Is this a struggle you share? Perhaps, you read the Bible, but only to check the box. I find myself struggling with this as well. Have you ever had this thought: “I don’t need to have devotions today because it’s Sunday and church counts for that.” Wow. Did I really just say to myself that I don’t need to spend intimate time with the Sovereign Creator of all the universe who seeks and pursues me daily in fervent, divine romance? Yes, yes I did say that. Do say that.
So, what am I waiting for? What are you waiting for? As previously mentioned, I am getting married this summer. One thought I have entertained is that when I’m married I’ll suddenly be more diligent and push myself and have the discipline to spend time with God. What makes you think that, moron? Why would you suddenly be more Godly out of nowhere, without having put Godliness into practice? Well, I’ll be in a new house and I’ll have new habits and schedules and spaces and… Right, keep telling yourself that. All that will make a huge difference in your spirituality. What happens when you get to that point? What will be your reason for not giving God the priority then? I don’t have an answer to that. The time is now. Life is too important to let it fly by while I bask in inaction and shallow Christianity. The people whose paths I will cross are too important. The work that God intends me to do is too important. Heck, I’m a Father and soon to be a Husband. How can I expect to successfully be either without desperately chasing after God? I yearn to raise a Godly son who will follow God all his days and not repeat his father’s mistakes. I yearn to be a Godly husband and leader of my house. I yearn to love my wife as Christ loves the church and to give myself up for her and quite frankly, spoil her rotten in love, affection and selfless giving of myself.
The time is now. Fervent devotion to God cannot wait any longer. It’s not only my life and well-being counting on it. I need God. Do you?
The Bible tells us He is, and I believe it. However, it seems like things have changed about Him from Old Testament days until now. I was hoping you folks would ring in on this one. Why does it seem like He’s changed so much, or is it just mankind that has changed?
Like the title? I was hoping it would attract some READERS! I was thinking about this the other day. When do you have “enough” God? I’m expecting your quick answer to be, “Why, Wise Writer of Blogs, you can never have enough God.” I would tend to agree with you. But! It seems like we are ever striving toward some goal. Some point of contentment. I personally am never content with where I am with God. If I could pinpoint a place where I would be tempted to say that I was arriving at having “enough” God, I would say that it would be the day I no longer had any shred of hate for my enemies. I don’t have many enemies. I prefer getting along with everyone. There are a few people though that I must confess I find loathsome. I don’t like that in me. Are my feelings toward them justified? Sure, perhaps… but God would likewise be justified in hating me. Instead, He gave his everything for me and is still pursuing me every day with His unfailing Love. If only I would let Him overtake me and change every part of me. I want to love with His love. I want to have a love for unlovable people that rivals my love for bacon. (There, now I can justify the title).
I want to hear from you! Chime in on this one and tell me what you think. You do not have to be a registered WordPress user to comment, so comment away!
Who gets your vote? Tonight is the first Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire. I must admit I am not really “up” on any of them, I just know bits and pieces about them. Mitt Romney has said some very intelligent financial things… So has Cain, but I read something that said he is anti-guns. I know next to nothing about Michele Bachmann or Ron Paul. I want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on the runners for the GOP nomination?