Do We Expect God To Answer Prayer?

It’s Saturday morning, May 26. One day closer to whatever’s next. Today is “Sally Ride Day.” Who is Sally Ride, you ask? I’m glad you asked! Sally Ride was the first woman to go into space. This happened “way back” in 1983. I know that there is a BC comic strip from back then that addresses that and uses the phrase, “Ride, Sally Ride, Ride!” But I cannot, for the life of me, find it. On this date in 1897, Bram Stoker’s Dracula first went on sale in London. Now, more people are writing about vampires than ever before. Unfortunately, 90% of them (that’s a totally arbitrary figure) are writing “young adult” fiction aimed at teenage girls. Bleah. (NO! That was NOT AT ALL a reference to Twilight!) (Guilty confession time…I watch “Vampire Diaries.”) On this date in 1959, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched 12 perfect innings. And lost to the Milwaukee Braves. Unfortunately, Lew Burdette pitched twelve scoreless innings (although not perfect). And on this date in 1907, John Wayne was born. He was alleged to have said, “Courage is being scared to death–but saddling up anyway.”

Yesterday, Christi had a really good talk with the CIO from Supermedia. She left there on really good terms, and it sounds like he’s fully on board with bringing her back. He basically just wanted some kind of promise that she wouldn’t leave again right away if another offer came up. I think we’ve learned an important lesson in the last month. “Grass…greener…other side…” You know. She has to go in for an “official interview” on Tuesday afternoon. Hmm…sounds like a good song.

We have a busy weekend ahead. Setup this morning for The Exchange, followed by a Texas Rangers game this afternoon. Before the game, there is a “free” concert by Casting Crowns. I’m hoping the Rangers spank the Bluebirds like they did last night (14-3). We would love to see some Cruz missiles and some Hambinos. Tomorrow, Christi and I are working tech at both services, then tomorrow evening, we are gathering at the home of some of our lifehouse friends for grilling and just hanging out. “Grillin’ and chillin'” I guess. Monday, we return to Scarborough Renaissance Festival, in Waxahachie, after which we will spend the night at a local Comfort Suites. Tuesday (both Christi and I have taken a vacation day Tuesday), we will take Stephanie up to Keller High School to visit with her teachers and principals, after which Christi will have her interview at Supermedia.

Whew. I think I need a nap.

Father, I pray that you show me something in this brief time that will give me a better vision of you, and help me live this day looking at you.

My Utmost For His Highest

…pray without ceasing… 1 Thessalonians 5:17

How do I think about prayer? Is it the breath of my lungs? The blood of my heart? “The blood flows ceaselessly, and breathing continues ceaselessly; we are not conscious of it, but it is always going on.” Likewise, we are not conscious of the fact that, if we are rightly related to Christ and obeying him, he is ceaselessly keeping us “in perfect joint with God.” “Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life.” Do we get that? Chambers talks about spontaneous prayer. He calls it “ejaculatory prayer.” Hopefully, you know what he means. I’ve been there…driving to work and suddenly, I get an inspiration from the Spirit, and I blurt out a prayer about it. Then I go back to whatever I was doing before. This is what Paul means when he says “pray without ceasing.” Of course, he doesn’t mean that every single waking moment of our lives should be spent in prayer. None of us could hold down a job if we did that. We have to focus on other things sometimes…unless we are nuns or monks. But we need to be of a mind to be able to, almost unconsciously, blurt out prayers at any given moment.

Chambers speaks of unanswered prayer in this reading. Do you realize that Jesus never mentioned such a thing as unanswered prayer? Do we have the certainty of Jesus Christ that our prayers will be answered? I’ll confess right away that I don’t. Jesus said, “Everyone who asks receives.” (Paraphrase.) We immediately say, “But…but…” We’re thinking about that time we didn’t receive. “God answers prayer in the best way, not sometimes, but every time, although the immediate manifestation of the answer in the domain in which we want it may not always follow.” Here is the pointed question of the day: “Do we expect God to answer prayer?” Well? Do we? I’m learning to. But it is a hard thing to learn. Perhaps if we prayed with more conviction…prayed more specifically. Instead of things like, “Dear God, give me a good day.” Well, what’s your definition of “good?”

“The danger with us is that we want to water down the things that Jesus says and make them mean something in accordance with common sense; if it were only common sense, it was not worthwhile for Him to say it. The things Jesus says about prayer are supernatural revelations.” I like that line, “if it were only common sense, it was not worthwhile for Him to say it.” This does not validate “name it, claim it” theology. What it does do is give us deep, serious thoughts about prayer, the nature of prayer, and how we should think about prayer. It is not giving God a wish list. We should pray, believing that God will answer. He may not answer in exactly the way we expect it, so we have to be ready for that, too. As we breathe, as our hearts beat, so we should pray.

Father, I pray for more prayer. I thank you that you have led me, by the Spirit, pray more. You have led me to utilize some of my driving time in the mornings to pray. I have also found myself experiencing spontaneous prayer throughout the days. Sometimes. I have not “arrived.” Far from it. There are still too many things that distract me, even when I am praying intentionally. Garrison my imagination, Lord. Put a shield around me when I am praying, that outside influences might be deflected. But most of all, may I pray like I breathe; not having to think about it. I don’t have to tell myself to breathe. I shouldn’t have to tell myself to pray. Help me expect you to answer prayer, Father.

I pray for this weekend, Lord. First, I pray that we be safe for our adventures. I pray for a good time at the game today, and that Stephanie will have a wonderful time listening to one of her favorite Christian groups. I pray that their message of the gospel will be heard loud and clear. I pray for a good time of worship tomorrow, as well as a good time of fellowship tomorrow evening. (See? I’m guilty of that generic type of praying, too! What does “good” mean??) I pray for a safe trip to Waxahachie on Monday, and that we will have a relaxing trip of good family fun. I pray that Stephanie’s visit with her teachers and principals will go well on Tuesday, and that she will receive some positive affirmations from them. And then, I pray that Christi’s interview at Supermedia will go well, and that she will leave there with a job offer. Thank you for working so quickly in this, Lord.

Pray without ceasing, expecting God to answer. It’s all about faith, right?

Grace and peace, friends.

2 thoughts on “Do We Expect God To Answer Prayer?

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