Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thoughts on prayer

Well there are a few of you who have checked out the prayer link. I know this because you wrote and told me. :) It was good and now you know (if you read the link).

I've been thinking a lot about what John Piper said. I've thought about why I struggled with not knowing what the right way to pray is. I do pray, but in the past year or so have started to wonder if we as Christians pray 'okay'. Through a few different messages and in reading the Scriptures I became more in awe of just who God is. That happens the more you get to know Him. And because of realizing just who I am praying to and how shallow I am it brought me to thinking about my own prayer life a lot. It also had me listening more intently to others as they prayed. My conclusions were that most of the time we are just rambling to God and trying to sound spiritual and basically praying for our own good, not for God's glory. We're human it's going to happen.
What I appreciated in Piper's writing was how matter of fact it was. Prayer is simple. Not easy, but simple. What I cannot forget is that I am praying to an awesome holy God who demands my fear and respect, but I also have the awesome privilege of having a relationship with Him. A close and personal one.

In a close relationship with someone I don't just concentrate on one aspect of that person. We as friends cover a whole spectrum of things, ideas, feelings, and even disagreements. Piper reminded me that prayer is another privilege God has given me to bear all of my heart, ask for His blessings, worship Him with all my heart, see God change things because I asked, and above all see God's name hallowed in my life. To me that last one is scary. God is God and He could cause anything to happen in my life, painful or pleasant. I'm not one to pray for painful things but by allowing God full reign in my heart through prayer, painful is just what I may get. But that doesn't exclude joy. Even in painful circumstances my joy can be full. I know, I've been there before.
Yes, I loved the article. And I really hope Seven does her prayer post soon too so I can read that. (hint, hint) :)

I really hope this isn't confusing. Before that article came along I really wouldn't of been able to make it even this clear. Prayer had become confusing for me. Always wondering if my prayers were pleasing to the Lord hindered them. Now I know that even my honest 'complaining' prayers are okay with God.
It's all about the relationship & giving God the glory for it all, not about the exact words I say.
So I'll pray on and leave it all in His hands because we know God is good, all the time. :)


Seven said...

Most excellent. You'll see soon that I did write that post, but now I'm wishing I had written it all at once. But then it would have been way too long and no one would have been patient enough to read it anyway. I'll have to hope for a few minutes in the busy days ahead and the full cooperation of my struggling computer.

Anonymous said...

yes seven, I'll be checking for that too :)

Shannon, great post. I really hope that I can get my prayer life back to where it used to be (and even better) but in the meantime, I'll keep trying to open up and pour out my heart to God. For some reason, it can be harder than it sounds, eh? But I think I am making little baby steps :)

Kristi Paulino (Bredin) said...

Hey, Shannon...I stopped by your site, and enjoyed reading the article by John of my husband's favorite authors...We appreciate him because of his central focus just on God...good article on prayer...prayer is something that has always been a struggle for me, too, having different people tell you how you "should" or "shouldn't" pray...and all the things that sometimes cause you to just give up...I liked his thoughts, though...and am glad to know we have a God who is so gracious and merciful to our finite hearts and minds...and to know He is so absolutely in love with me, despite myself...

Anyways...thanks for the encouraging words, and for pointing me to the article...good challenge and encouragement on prayer.

How are you guys all doing?! I am enjoying my pregnancy, and have been really fortunate to be feeling so well -- I'm 6 months along now - hard to believe how fast its going -- slow some days, when all I want to do is just MEET this baby!! I'm so excited to be a mom...

Hope you are all doing well -- have a great weekend...