Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grappling with prayer

Tonight's theme at Alpha was prayer- something I could ponder and talk about for hours... I have changed the way I pray and what I pray for a lot since being a child.   Or maybe I haven't.   I used to pray for things I thought would make me happy- the main part in a play, a snow day, a horse.   Later I thought of more justified requests- financial security, love, health, my own children.   Because now I guess there are bigger requests to fill for my happiness.  Does God disapprove?   I don't think so.  I think he knows my heart is in the right place, though he may chuckle to Himself a little listening to me sometimes or He might cry with me as I ask Him why some mothers hurt or kill their own children, why kids bully other kids, why cancer takes the lives of good people with families who need them, why soldiers are returning from war without limbs, why some women who really want children can't get pregnant.   I don't think god " gives" this to us, as in that saying " god will never give us more than we can handle".  But as evidenced in all these circumstances, god does allow these things to happen.   Sometimes He intervenes as if to say " keep praying- it works" or " I really am here" but I am not one to shy away from the hard questions and the truth is sometimes He doesn't stop seemingly horrible things from happening, so what about those times?  I really don't know but I heard a song today that touched at this question.   For the whole effect, I recommend the music video, but these are the lyrics

 We pray for blessings

We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

No comments: