During this morning's prayer call, the question was asked, "Why pray if God is just going to do what He wants anyway?" Let me back up - this came from one of the ministers on the call who yesterday suffered a loss of a baby due to an etopic pregnancy. And let me tell you, this statement came in a moment of weakness and cynicism, but when she said it on this morning's call, I immediately knew where she was coming from - and what emotions may have led her to express such a thing out loud to her husband. After all, been there, done that.
How many times have you prayed "God, Thy Will be done" and then when it doesn't work out as you planned it in your head want to rant and rave and say that God didn't answer your prayer? My friend and her husband knew that getting pregnant would be risky: they are older and they lost another baby late last year. So, when they were trying to get pregnant, they prayed Hannah's prayer. [Read 1 Samuel 1:1-20] They promised that if God would honor this pregnancy, they would return this child to the Lord and would raise the child in the fear and admonition of the Lord. When the good news came that they'd conceived a child, my friend says that she just knew that God would honor their commitment to return the child to the Lord and that the pregnancy would be a stable one, culminating in nine months with the birth of a bouncing baby boy or a beautiful baby girl to love and cherish. You would have to talk to her to hear how she got past the question and what her understanding is now of God's plan and you will be encouraged and amazed. In this situation, God's plan was different from the one she planned and unfortunately, this baby will not come to be.
But back to her question: what is the point in praying? Why go through the motions if God is going to do what He is going to do, in spite of our petitions to him? I mean, why give us freedom of choice if He is going to make the final decision? And even if we believe that His plans are better for us - and that His thoughts are not our thoughts - and all the other "stuff" we are taught - why do we have to go through the motions of praying? What good does it do?
I am sure there is some Biblical answer that people like my minister friend and her husband can quote off the top of their heads or that my godsister Linda or my other friend Jacquie would know if I stopped to call them and ask them - but this is my blog and my thoughts, so I just have to answer from my own personal experience. So, here's why I keep praying and accepting God's will - even when His will differs VASTLY from mine: it's part of my partnership in my relationship with God. Huh? "Whatchutalkin'bout?" I have found that talking about my issues, bringing them before the Throne of Grace, petitioning to the Lord for His intervention, guidance and grace is what I have to do to make my relationship with Christ work. It strengthens my faith and gives me the confidence and knowledge of knowing He is working all things for my good - even when it seems like He isn't giving me what I want and/or think I need. How many times have you asked the Lord for something (or someone) only to discover later that His "failure" to answer your prayer (in the way YOU wanted it answered) was indeed the answer to your prayer that you needed.
And can I just say: It is a ploy of the enemy to tell you that your prayers are not being answered - that God doesn't care - that you are not worthy of asking God for anything (well, ok - you aren't, but because of Christ's sacrifice on Calvary, you are.) Don't listen to him, keep praying. Keep asking. Keep petitioning. And then patiently wait on the Lord to answer ... in the way that is BEST for you.
So, what's with the title of this blog? P.U.S.H.? What's that all about? The acronym stands for Pray Until Something Happens. It may not be what you want and it may not come at the time you want it - but you best believe - when the answer does come, it will be JUST what you need and it will be right on time.
Be blessed. (And please keep my friends in prayer)