(*photo taken by Dennis Rassing, photoshoped by me, Eric Soto)
I felt like just keeping the topic a little lighter this week, in hopes I get more of you to discuss:
I've always found prayer to God a very important, and daily part of my life. Even before I was "saved" it was always just one of those things I did. I'd tend to pray for things that I "needed". Or at least thought that I did.
"God I need this girl, shes like the coolest girl ever, and shes freaking hot. Yeah. I just want to get to know her. Please God!"
Or sometimes(I think I still do this unintentionally) I bargain with God.
"God if you just please change this, and fix this, Ill be a better christian and read my bible way more...". I think a lot of people bargain with God, even people that don't believe in Him.
As time goes on though, I wonder what the purpose of prayer actually is? I think most people (including me) look at praying as "opening Gods blessings on us" as if hes a cosmic vending machine filled with divine goodies. Maybe even a lovable bearded pinata in the sky that if we hit with our Bibles enough times he'll dispense some candies entitled "Gods sweet strength" so that we can make it through the day. Then when God "doesn't answer prayer" we say something like-
"Well it just wasn't Gods will, he has a better plan".
But wait...if he has a "better" plan, wouldn't he just do it regardless of what we pray, if we pray anything at all? Does God need human permission or persuasion to act within the best interests of His Almighty purpose? Consider the following verses...
13 "But he stands alone, and who can oppose him?
He does whatever He pleases.
11"In him we were also chosen,a]">[a] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will,"
I tried talking about this with someone today and he said-
"[God] has a plan for everyone, but we are free souls to make our decisions ourselves. If you know the Bible, you line your prayers up with Scripture, and you'll be praying God's will."
And I can agree with this in part...our hearts should and technically will be more aligned to God and His "will" and purposes as time goes on so well pray for the "right" things. The assumption this guy is making though is that even though God has a purpose, we can just stray away from the purpose by not praying the right things into effect. Meanwhile God is up in the clouds with his hands over His head like
"WHAT?! YOU IDIOT! I TOTALLY DID NOT EXPECT YOU TO DO THAT!!! MY WILL IS RUINED!!!!"
But is God thrwarted that easily? Does he not expect us to do what we do thousands of years before we even do it? As the verses above show(and there are many many more) God has a purpose, a will, a desire...and he is seeking to do exactly that and WILL. God rigged the election long ago, so this whole idea of "free will"(a can of worms we can talk about later lol) is kind of a joke in regards to thinking that whatever we say will encourage God to do something within his will, as if he wasn't planning on it anyway.
Whats honestly the point in that?
I'm certainly not saying prayer isn't a good thing, I think prayer has always been important throughout the Bible...and it was obviously important to Jesus enough to give us the "Lords Prayer".
But I'm beginning to look at prayer as less of a method by which we obtain Gods purpose/gifts and more as just a key communication of the heart. I mean I can lay down at night and say all these different things about "God help me, why wont you help me, give me this give me that" but Ive begun to realize how selfish and pointless that is. Maybe by praying for that "new Dodge Viper" or that "hot christian chick" God will show us that we really don't need them, and instead show us what we really need and how to go about that.
So I guess in conclusion, I think the purpose of prayer is not to try to "help along Gods will" but more about coming to grips with God in communication about what IS on OUR hearts. And just letting God know(as if he already doesn't) that we want HIS will to be done and in that do a lot less talking and a lot more listening to what Gods heart is...rather than just praying for what we think is/should be Gods Will. We cant truly "alter" Gods will...I would beg we really cant even stray from it(again, thats for another time). He knows what His purpose for everything is and I don't think He's just waiting around for us to pray it into effect.
As always, would love to hear your thoughts. :)