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Dear Lord Please Answer This Prayer
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In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. – Romans 8:26
I don’t particularly like praying.
I know. It’s odd. But I think it’s because I don’t know how. Think of it like this: What around the house do you not like to do, that you have to do, but you’re not really good at. So you do it anyway, because you have to, and in the end don’t really feel all that good about it.
I really don’t like praying in front of others. In fact I dread it. Yes, I’ve prayed to get out of praying. Lord, please let this cup pass from me.
A few years ago my pastor more or less told the men in the congregation to man-up and be the prayer leaders of their home. I took it to task. In fact, my prayers became so well-received I got the “nod” to pray at nearly all family gatherings. I’ve been known to print them out beforehand and read my prayer instead of off the cuff. I took on the responsibility with honor for a while, then I reverted to, “YOU PRAY!”
Praying in front of others is like public speaking. I. Don’t. Like it.
I used to work at a Christian college and my boss or supervisor, whatever you want to call her, had this one prayer where halfway through I was wondering what the heck she was doing. It was as if she was in a private conversation where she openly laughed as if she was in an actual one-on-one conversation with God. She was an odd duck and maybe her way was the right way (though it seemed a bit show-offy) but I am sure I opened one eye and looked around the room at everyone else when this prayer was said. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing it just felt, well a bit personal. We were at work and she’s talking to God about something in her life years ago none of us were privy too.
I used to attend a church, actually, it was my not-yet-wife’s church which I never cared for. But their prayers were so annoying I tuned it out. It went something like this, “Lord God, we thank you Jesus, that you Lord, would give us, God, a great day Father.”
A few months ago my current pastor was talking about prayer and commented on this type of prayer and likened it to a child talking to their dad like this. “Daddy, could you please, father, take me, papa, to the store, pops.”
Yeah that about sums it up.
Usually when I pray in front of others I am constantly thinking ahead so I don’t lose my train of thought which only serves to help me lose my train of thought. While sincere in my prayer, I’m not too sure I am actually praying to God or just trying to get through my speech.
But it was a month or so ago when I was lying in bed praying, I stopped. I realized I sounded like a whiny, little child asking for something I couldn’t have. Lord, please…
Lord, please heal this person. Lord, please help me with this or that. Dear Lord, how are you? I am fine. How is the Holy Spirit? Just like my letters to grandma when I was EIGHT!
So I stopped.
Man, no wonder my prayers don’t get answered. I wouldn’t answer them either! It occurred to me that I was, well, annoying. Does God find us annoying?
I’ve tried the “Lord’s Prayer.” I’ll say it straight-up as a prayer and also use it as an outline for my routine everyday prayers. I do forget to give thanks.
I’ve always taken to heart 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that says to pray incessantly. Whatever was going through my head, even if I had not specifically addressed God prior to, I was bouncing ideas, issues, concerns, frustration, anger and hope off the Almighty One.
Recently during a troubling time it just felt like I was talking to myself. In my head. Is there really an all-knowing, all powerful, infinite God who actually hears my thoughts? My brain cannot grasp this notion of this concept, most of the time really, which explains why I am not God. My extremely finite brain trying to understand the creator of the universe, please.
So then why doesn’t He answer? Hello? I’m on your side. Throw me something. Anything. It’s not like I’m giving an ultimatum here. Answer this prayer or I’m outta here. The truth of it is, answered prayer is probably one way to help strengthen my faith. For which I have very little.
I’ve fervently prayed for the life of two people in the last six months or so. One I’d never met, the other a few times briefly though the last time I talked to him is oddly seared in my memory. My prayers went unanswered.
That may be the genesis of my frustration with prayer. Why bother, if it doesn’t work? My wife tells me despite the recent results, He’s answered other prayers and blessed us in countless ways. All true. Like I said, I do forget to give thanks.
Why is it then that the unanswered prayer hurts the most? Or at least stands out the most? Actually it seems as if unanswered prayer is always for the big ones. A life altering, changing, saving event that needs God’s direct involvement so that in end we can say that no doubt God intervened.
And when it doesn’t go our way we think, did I do something wrong? Did I not pray the right way? Well, maybe it’s not about me and my prayer.
I think maybe answered prayer tells us that God loves us and like any father has made a conscious decision to help us out. Or maybe because of our current strained relationship answered prayer simply says he’s listening.
And that we’re not alone.
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14 Mar 2020
Thank you for sharing on your experience with prayer. I believe so many of us wonder when prayer goes unanswered as to why it does. God bless you!
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