Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Prayer Misconception, Part 2

Misconception #2
Prayer is to convince God to implement our ideas.

My thoughts: God created prayer as a line of communication between us and Him. It is an avenue of which we can call upon our Creator and request the gifts He wishes to lavish upon us. What gets in the way of our receiving these gifts are our expectations. Many times we believe we know what is best for us, when ultimately, God is the only being that knows our truth, and the truth of everything else. God has no need to consult with anyone. God has never asked for permission or opinions. Who better to trust with our lives than He? Creation began with God.

If we begin to put limitations on the requests we make to Him, how can we expect to receive answered prayer? There is no negotiating with God. He knows best. But most times, answered prayer is inevitable; we just need to wait on the Lord to give us the gift at a time that is best for Him, making the timing best for us.

Isaiah 8:17
17 I will wait for the Lord, Who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob. I will put my trust in him.

Excerpt directly from my bible's notes:
"Isaiah decided to wait for the Lord, though God was 'hiding his face from the house of Jacob.' For some believers, patient waiting becomes the most difficult testing they must face: waiting for illness to pass, for a child to return to God and the church, or for God to make matters right in a particular situation. Many of the prophecies God gave through the prophets would not come for 700 years; others still haven't been fulfilled in our lifetime. Are you willing to accept the Lord's timing, not yours?"

My thoughts: How many times have you felt that you were left hanging, waiting for an answer to your prayer? I know there are times it seems fruitless to pray for the same thing over and over again. I often find myself asking for God's guidance in my prayer, to ensure that I am indeed praying for something I am meant to pray for. Almost two months ago, I had two prayers answered simultaneously. One prayer was for my husband; the other for our marriage. All of which revolved around the spiritual relationship with God. 

The first prayer, I had been praying for almost a year; the second, one night. In one glorious moment, God answered both prayers. It was a profound moment! It dawned on me that my first prayer was always to be answered, God was just waiting for the right moment: a moment that coincided with a prayer I had yet to pray...

Isaiah 8:19-22
19 When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 Consult God's instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. 21 Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. 22 Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.  

My thoughts: 
I want to touch on 'the dead' and 'the living'. The dead here refers to those that are living a life of death, spiritually. The living is referring to those that have received spiritual life through the living God. 

Even those that know God and speak His word, can be lost and have bad advice for their loved ones. People can have wonderful intentions, but not necessarily help. Be wary of those you seek advice and guidance from. God should be the ultimate in seeking guidance, but He uses others to show Himself and His ways to us. Discernment is quite necessary.

There have been times when I have heard God, but still question what I have heard, seeking answers in my friends and family. Here, I am implementing my ideas of what God must mean, or trying to dissect some hidden meaning within, choosing not to trust what God has already shown me. When I do this, I am placing my life in the hands of others, not in the hands of God.

Sometimes having too many people in my ear separates me from the sound of God's voice, the feel of God's touch, and the vision God has given me. By searching for guidance, reassurance, and truth from those that are not God, is the fastest way to not hearing God. I have found that if I need to know without a doubt what God needs me to know about myself, random (in my world that's how it seams in the moment) conversations come up with people that affirm what I already know from God. But when I take it upon my self to blatantly question God's words to me, I find myself further confused and twisted. I have no idea what to believe in these moments, because I have chosen not to believe what I knew was in my heart. In my search to implement my ideas into my life, while throwing God's will for me to the wayside, I end up with nothing. 

Another thing that many People do is blame God for bad things that happen. This is not right, or fair. God gave us free will. Every single person to ever have graced this planet was given a choice for every action they make; for every word they say. God gave each individual this gift. 
People abuse this gift making choices that go against God, and His will for them. 
People choose not to invite God into their world. 
People choose to turn their backs on God. 
If People are saying no to God, then People are helping to bring about their own demise. 
I don't blame God for the trials and tribulations I have lived, or the adversary I have met. Instead, I see where I made decision after decision that landed me in the spot I find myself. I am not saying that there are not situations where I have done right and have still been hurt by things completely out of my control that have contributed to my tribulations. But again, while I may choose to give my will over to God, He has still allowed others to keep theirs. I also find refuge in the truth that God will not give me more than I can handle; that through Christ who strengthens me, I can do anything. People make bad decisions that can affect me negatively, but God, who I put my trust into, can turn that negative into a positive, if I allow Him to. 

Isaiah 40:13-15
13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, 
       or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, 
       and who taught him the right way?
       Who was it that taught him knowledge, 
       or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; 
       they are regarded as dust on the scales; 
       he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

My thoughts: God alone knows the future. God alone is eternal, with the only ability to choose who to share the gift of eternal life with. He is the perfect guide for us in the world, and we should trust that. God will not lie, He is unable. He is good. God will not mislead us. He wants us to follow Him for His purpose. His purpose, His plan is perfect! Who would not want to be a part of that? 

I am going to close with a Prayer Study quote: 
"...God loves our prayers. He rejoices in them. They bring Him pleasure. They are sweet-smelling aroma to Him (Revelation 5:8; Psalm 141:2). Power praying happens when God, who longs to give, is met by man, who longs to receive. God is the initiator. He made promises and invited petition. The secret to power praying lies not in how to ask, but in how to receive."

Prayer Study Day 7, Part 3 here.
For credit purposes, the Prayer Study I am using is: 
Live A Praying Life, New and Revised Anniversary Addition 
Jennifer Kennedy Dean ~ www.prayinglife.org 
This is not an endorsement. This just happens to be the prayer study I am using, and I have decided to share my study experience, here on The Paisley Butterfly

My Bible: Life Application Study Bible, New International Version Zandervanbibles.com. 
Why I like this bible: There are extensive notes on the verses. Each page has more notes:bible verse ratio. 

Here is a link to an online bible -- there are other online bibles out there, this one just happens to be the one I use most. 

Again, listing my bible references is not for the purpose of endorsement, but an effort to appropriate credit to materials used.

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