“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”~~Charles Chaplin
Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is janky, “of poor quality, bad; untrustworthy, suspicious.”
Today is Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day. What is that thing that you can do that no one else can do? I can wiggle my ears, but a lot of people can do that. I can’t roll my tongue, can’t touch my tongue to my nose.
WordPress has changed the format of the new post page again, and I have to say that I’m not crazy about it, right up front. All of my editing features are gone! In order to quickly put in a link, or make the text italicized or bold, I have to switch to the “Visual” tab, which doesn’t allow me as much control over what I’m typing. I hope they read this, because here’s one vote to go back to the way it was before. This is not easier. I also can’t see my comments on the initial page for the site. I’m sure I’ll get used to it. Right about the time they change it again . . .
Christi wasn’t feeling well last night, so we didn’t go work out. In fact, she went straight to bed after we got home from work. I stayed up, ate a can of tuna and got caught up enough on The Walking Dead that I now know what happened to Glenn. Pretty incredible (and by incredible, I mean that literally), if you ask me, which you didn’t so, that’s all I’m going to say about that. Christi says she is feeling much better this morning. November has not been kind to my family at all, historically. Rachel and Stephanie have already been sick this month, Christi was down yesterday. So far, I’m okay, but we shall see.
(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
Yesterday, I was writing about how we need to pray for what we desire, but at the same time, be open for God to do something different. Tim Keller cites J.I. Packer as he gives us some ways to work this out, practically.
One thing that Packer says we should do is, “we should lay before God, as part of our prayer, the reasons why we think that what we ask for is the best thing.” This might strike some of us as rather bold, but if you think about it, if we have to argue our point with God, it makes us think about it. Many older Christian writers talk about this very thing. It is “theological reasoning,” not assuming that we know better than God, but telling God why we believe that what we are asking for is the best thing, based on what we know about God’s desires. And there is the catch – you must be familiar with God’s desires in order for this to work.
Packer also says that, when we make our needs and desires known to God, we should tell him “that if he wills something different [than what we are asking] we know it will be better and it is that (rather than the best we could think of) that we really want him to do.” So not only are we okay with God doing something different than what we pray, if it truly is better, then we want him to do it that way! This kind of praying reshapes our hearts. If we cannot truly pray that way, then we have an issue of what Augustine would call “disordered loves.” This should trigger some serious self-examination.
But if we can truly pray in that way, it will calm our hearts, allowing us to “leave our concerns with God, knowing that he will hear them and act on them when and as is best.”
“In short, God will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything he knew.”
This, in essence, is the truest way to pray, “Thy will be done.”
Father, as I pray to you, I frequently pray from a list of desires and prayer requests, many of which are given or suggested by other people. May I always pray with a willingness and understanding that you might have a better way of resolving things than how I am praying. You are God, you are sovereign, and all things are in your hands. I am merely human, finite, with extremely limited understanding of things. I bow to you and your infinite knowledge, accepting that whatever happens is due to your sovereignty and infinite knowledge. May my prayers always reflect this truth.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.