Friday, November 14, 2008

When Prayers Hit the Ceiling

There are times in one's prayer life when it seems that prayers are bouncing off the ceiling.
It sometimes feels like our prayers aren't leaving the room.
In other words, it doesn't seem/feel like anything is happening in prayer.

I'm taking a risk with a comment I am about to make, so let me begin by prefacing it by making this claim--I am a firm believer in prayer. Prayer transforms us into the image of Jesus. Without prayer, one will be unable to walk with God.

With that said, a verse in the Bible that gives me all kinds of trouble in my prayer life is this:
Ask, and it will be given to you
Seek, and you will find
Knock, and the door will be opened.

Luke 11:9 makes it sound so simple. But if you're like me, these words can create confusion.

Even though confusion exists, there is something inside of me that keeps me asking, seeking, and knocking.

6 comments:

Lynn Leaming said...

Or how about Matthew 17:20 or Luke 17:6 that says if we have the faith of a mustard seed that nothing will be impossible? I usually end up praying as the father in Mark 9:24 "I believe, but please help my unbelief".

Missy Robinson said...

There are some prayers that are always answered yes... for example, if we say to God "please hear my prayer and be with me" we have confidence that God says yes to that prayer. But, I think we get in trouble when we think of prayer as a grocery list - like we can just basically use our prayers to tell God what to do. I don't think it works that way. I think the prayers that we pray often reflect our understanding of God. So, if we pray for God to give us wisdom in a certain situation, I believe He will. If we pray that God will make us a million dollar lottery winner, I don't think He will necessarily grant that. I am not saying that He couldn't; I am just saying that such a specific (and seemingly selfish) request may not be in our best interest for Him to grant that request. Obviously, I am using extremes, but what I am trying to convey is that we could really avoid a lot of our frustration with God if we would be more mindful of praying to God for things that He has already told us He wants to give us (more compassion for others, deeper relationships with others, more grace, wisdom, the ability to see Him working in various situations in our lives, etc.). I do believe that prayer is a great opportunity for us to pause, bring ourselves before God's throne, recognize His glory, and humble ourselves before Him. If we do those things, then our words sometimes end up being more like my son's prayers "Dear God, thank you for everything. Amen" Oh, to be more like a child!

jeff said...

Good stuff Josh!

Right on Missy.

I'm not sure on target my personal feeling toward prayer is with scripture. But, i have always believed when we pray for spirtual matters (wisdom, peace, contentment) God delivers 100% of the time...however, when we pray for physical matters the answers to those prarers are delivered to us much differently.

A related quote:
God is more concerned about our character than our comfort - Craig Strickland

jeff said...

Good stuff Josh!

Right on Missy.

I'm not sure on target my personal feeling toward prayer is with scripture. But, i have always believed when we pray for spirtual matters (wisdom, peace, contentment) God delivers 100% of the time...however, when we pray for physical matters the answers to those prarers are delivered to us much differently.

A related quote:
God is more concerned about our character than our comfort - Craig Strickland

Jeff said...

What am I asking for? What am I seeking? What doors do I hope to find? Are they earthly things? Are they selfish things? Ask that God work in your life and you will receive. Seek God in your life and you will find. Knock and the doors God wants you to walk through will be opened.

I have long asked for what I wanted, what I thought was best, what I felt like needed to be done. God has finally opened my eyes to calling on him to make my life one with His will and desire for me and if I will look for what He places before me instead of what I would look for on my own, I just my find something glorious.

Someone recently told me a trait of God is that He is slow. Huh? He explained that I worked on a time frame of the second-hand on my watch while God works on a time frame of eternity. I may ask for something today and it might be days, weeks, months or years before I get my answer.

Korey Rogers said...

We're told some of our prayers "hit the ceiling".

1 Pet 3:7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should SO YOUR PRAYERS WILL NOT BE HINDERED.

I wonder how many of my prayers have been hindered... good prayers... bc I wasn't honoring my wife like I should...

And I doubt that "hindering" is limited to my relationship with my wife...