If you have a Facebook account (and you most likely do since there are some 18 million users in Canada of some 2.27 billion world-wide) then you have probably gotten a message like this: “Share this page if you [are my friend / support this cause / are a true Christian / ….etc]. I’ll see how many of you actually share it and then I’ll know if you [are a true friend / actually support this cause /are a true Christian / …etc].”
I’ll tell you right now I seldom share the thing. Not because I [am not a friend / don’t support the cause / am not a true Christian / …etc], but because you don’t get to predetermine what my action or inaction represents. Suppose I just don’t happen to go on Facebook for a few days… weeks. How many such ‘share’ challenges might I never see? How many false impressions of my [friendship / support / faith / …etc] are drawn by the challengers?
Truth is I [am your friend / do support the cause / am a true Christian / …etc] But if you want to know these things about me, spend some time with me, learn from my character, the things I have written, the ways I have behaved in the past, and what others say about me.
Well… prayer and God are like that too!
God doesn’t allow us to judge His [faithfulness / provision / existence / or whatever…] based on whether or not He answers our requests just the way we desire. Sometimes He stays silent till we learn that it is He, not we, Who is in charge here. (Read Daniel 4 for a sobering account of what it took for one man learn this!)
God owes us nothing, yet He graciously (that’s undeservedly) gives us everything through Christ! We should approach God in humility, following the pattern Jesus taught His disciples…
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’” (Matt. 6:9-13)
Right praying is about worship, submission, dependence, repentance, and deliverance. Right praying is God-focussed, not me-and-my wants-focussed. Right praying remembers that He is God and I am not. Right praying grows from relationship: from spending time with God, learning from His character, what He has written, how He has behaved in the past and with others.
Right praying is sharing with God in the best of all ways.
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