Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"I just want to hear you beg for it"

Prayer: Because Jesus Already Knows What You Want, He Just Wants to Hear You Beg

So why does God only provide some things in answer to prayer? 

1. Consider petitionary prayer. Francis Chan is a good example. He had a horrific childhood. But as a newbie Christian convert he experienced dramatic answers to prayer. That was a revelation to him. A powerful witness to God. A tremendous encouragement. To realize that he could ask the Creator of the universe for something, and the Creator listened to him. When he prayed, things happened. But in a universe where all our needs are automatically provided for, it wouldn't have the same effect. 

I just use that as an illustration. I'm not saying that's representative of Christian experience in general. Francis Chan probably gets more prayer hits than many Christians, given his background and calling. But even one unmistakable answer to prayer can be very encouraging. And what makes it so powerful is that it happened in answer to a prayer. It's not a mechanical routine event. 

2. Consider intercessory prayer. That forces Christians out of their natural human self-absorption. Intercessory prayer forces us to think about other people, care about other people, get to know what's going on in their lives, get involved in their lives. 

3. Setting time aside for acts of devotion are part of the Christian pilgrimage. The habit of prayer, along with other spiritual disciplines, keep us on the heavenbound groove when we're not in a worshipful mood, when we're not in a mood to be Christian, when we're peeling our face off the pavement because life smashed us into the ground. Acts of devotion keep us on the pilgrim path when the feelings are gone, or when we may have strong feelings, but feelings of spiritual desertion and disaffection, abandonment and alienation. 

4. Moreover, the Christian pilgrimage is more like a wagon train or caravan where fellow travelers help each other out. When we stumble. When we're injured. Intercessory prayer plays that role. While some Christians are forced to make the journey alone, we need people in our lives who've got our back. 

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