Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Prayer

I was really struck by Christ's repeated exhoration to pray as I was reading through John this weekend:

John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

John 16:23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. 25 "I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father."
So many times when I pray, I don't think the Lord will say yes. I don't want to presume and I don't believe in name it and claim it or if I pray hard enough and with enough faith God will listen but on the other hand I shouldn't be double-minded:
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
I think it's a fine line, like everything else in Christianity :-).

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4 Comments:

  1. Gina Burgess said...
    Michelle, I asked God to teach me all about prayer. That was 5 years ago and He is still teaching me. One time He brought me into my bedroom all the way from the bathroom just so I could hear clearly something Dr. David Jeremiah said about prayer. It is an amazing instruction and I delight everytime God gives me a bit more to study!
    sherry said...
    This is something I struggle with. In 1 John 5 verse 14 it says "if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us". I recall praying for a friend who wanted to have a child, but miscarried and had many other problems. We prayed and prayed and her next invitro cylce yielded nothing. A friend pointed out this verse to me. So, there are times when we pray and it doesn't get answered, but how do we know what God has planned for us? I get very confused.
    michele said...
    I know Sherry, it is confusing. I have something I'm going to be posting in a little while that my help. It is a quote from Luther about prayer. It helped me.

    Maybe it's like how we share the Gospel with others. We never know who God will save through our words, we are just called to proclaim His words. Maybe we should just pray for everything, knowing that He can answer our prayer and resting in the knowledge that if He doesn't it is for our good.
    michele said...
    Gina, welcome to my blog and thankful for your words of encouragement. I'm glad God is helping you to understand.

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