Asking

Matthew 7 v 7
“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide and seek game we’re in.”

So when I pray for something (If I actually get round to actually praying rather than talking about it, resolving to do it, thinking how good it would be to do it etc etc)  I usually start off trying to talk God into being on my side  by explaining why I need what I need and why despite my obvious faults  it would be better for everyone concerned if God actually came through for me. Blah blah.

I really love this translation of Matthew 7. First of all it makes it clear that the Christian life is for grown ups. This is not a game. We are meant to be straight with God as he is with us. What do I need? What keeps me awake with worry? Whose story have I heard that I have no power to change myself? Who do I love so much that I want to commit them to God’s care? How do I deal with that impossible situation? Apparently it is simple –  I need to ask God.

So then what happens?

If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for a fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?

I don’t want to go all mega church about this but – do I dare do this? Do I dare live this? I think this is flippin MASSIVE. If I could live like this all the time, where as I asked God for my needs, he then responds as he promises to – as someone who has my best interests at heart – and someone who is able.

This has really challenged me this week and also made me feel a lot jollier. Do you ever think that when we finally meet God, he will say “It was all meant to be so much easier for you. I told you what to do, I told you how loved you were and you would never listen.” I’m thinking it may just be me and you have this sorted. It wouldn’t be the first time that I was just one step behind. Never mind eh?

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6 Comments

  1. December 2, 2012 / 10:37 pm

    Last week I heard someone say this
    "God always answers our prayers. Sometimes he says 'yes' and gives us just what we've asked for. Sometimes he says 'no' because what we asked for would not be right for us. And sometimes he says 'wait' and then gives us something even better"

    I am still working all this thru in my little brain. Mainly because this past week I have been praying for something quite specific and don't see the answer yet.

    Thank you for your comment on my blogpost today.

    Blessings xx
    ps never been quite happy with 'name it & claim it' theology. I end up singing Janis Joplin's song 'O Lord wont you buy me a Mercedes Benz'

    • December 3, 2012 / 10:28 am

      Monday Update
      I am not sure how to say this – but feel I must – the post has just arrived, and the exact thing I prayed for was there on the mat. I won't have a Mercedes Benz…but I will have the resources to get my little car through the MOT.
      Now feeling guilty about my lack of faith last week…

    • December 4, 2012 / 4:30 pm

      I am just like you. I hate the idea of treating God as my personal slot machine but the fact is God says ASK. I wonder if it is something you need rather than want and it is part of an ongoing, intimate loving relationship with God then the things that we should pray for will come to our minds naturally and God (amazingly enough)is listening.Your MOT is a good example I think.

    • December 4, 2012 / 4:48 pm

      PS You know when something strikes you as funny and you can't leave it alone? Have been singing in my head about following Julie all week. Has kept me very happy. Little things pleasing little minds!! 🙂

  2. December 3, 2012 / 4:55 pm

    I think you are on to something in this post.
    It helps to keep a record, from time to time. Some people do prayer diaries, don't they? For a while (this was helpful) I kept 2 little boxes, one with "THANK YOU" on the front, the other saying "PLEASE". Each time a "PLEASE" was answered, I moved it across to the "THANK YOU" box. This helped me notice the startlingly high success rate of prayer.
    And about a million years ago someone taught me the principle of listening first (you can listen quite quickly), to establish the will of God in the situation. It's when we pray with that flow that things whizz along.

    • December 4, 2012 / 4:43 pm

      I have just returned to keeping a prayer book (with a thanksgiving section)It is really helpful and the amount of answers really is amazing. I would love to be in a place where I was so in touch with God's heartbeat that I knew exactly what to pray for. But still, I wonder, do I under-pray for want of a better word. Do I miss out because I don't ask almost from not feeling it's a nice thing to do a bit pushy. Also, it's not always about material things. God seems to state his place in my life as a loving father – more loving than anything we can imagine on this earth. If I don't ask then it's almost as if I am ignoring that statement.

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