Prayer

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Prayer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:04 am

Over the past few days I have been feeling kinda useless. As I was reading the morning paper, there were several reports of car accidents and deaths, etc. I felt an immediate urge to pray for the families who must be grieving. I was happy at that moment and decided I could pray for a lot of people because I read the paper every morning. That enabled me to feel less "useless" but led to some thoughts about the prayers I was praying.

Sometimes prayers seem like they're just floating around in the universe somewhere and I don't know if they ever land or hit the designated target. And if they do hit the target, I won't know if they accomplish anything. That felt like trying to phone a friend to relay something important and getting an unanswered phone call. Frustration.

What am I missing? Anyone ever feel like that or feel confused about prayer?
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Re: Prayer

Postby extravagantchristian on Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:00 am

I was just thinking about this today! I always feel like my prayers are pretty useless, like God is going to do what He wants to do and I can't change His mind. So I don't usually pray for other people ... because I don't feel like it's going to help. I feel like if i don't pray right or have enough faith it's not going to "work".

But recently I was forced to pray for my children because I was in a helpless situation, I needed God to help them. I felt like I was backed into a corner and I had to pray so I did, and believe it or not God heard me and He answered my prayers LOL I know it sounds crazy but it's true.

2 of my kids were in separate schools and getting bullied, (we live in a bad neighborhood) God worked the situation to where one was able to transfer to a better school out of our district (which seemed impossible), and God also made sure my other daughter had no classes with the girls who were mean to her last year. So they're both happy now and all my prayers paid off, even though I felt like I wasn't praying right, God still heard me and decided to help :grin:

Psalm 116
I love the Lord, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.
2 Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

He hears every word:
Ps 139
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
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Re: Prayer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:58 am

Oh, extravagantchristian! I can't think of anything worse or more discouraging for a child to experience than bullying! In fact, the Sunday edition of my local paper printed an article on the tragedy of bullying and the consequences to her son. As a result, she launched a crusade for laws to help end bullying. On 2008, Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law "the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act" requiring schools to overhaul policies and procedures for bullying of all kind. This had to include measures for reporting. So it's now a crime in Florida to commit such acts.

I'm so happy that particular problem was resolved for you and your childrenapparently as an answer to your prayers. But see....

believe it or not God heard me and He answered my prayers LOL I know it sounds crazy but it's true.


That's exactly what my dilemma is. We shouldn't be surprised that God hears and answers, should we?

Trust me when I say that it's not my faith in Him that's weak....just my confusion about Him in this area. I'm not looking for a "Santa Claus" type God, but one who cares about His children's heartaches. I know He's sovereign, but then why bother praying?
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Re: Prayer

Postby mark s on Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:37 am

James said "you have not because you ask not". So therefore there are things that God would give if we ask, but does not give if we do not ask.

I don't know what God wants us to participate in the process of whether certain things happen or not, it seems like such a slipshod way to run things, but it seems that He does.

I always go back to the time when I was looking around our apartment, which we had lived in for 20 years, thinking about how run down it all was, and asking God for a nicer place to live, whether it was here (the perfect apartment in a great location with a really low rent) or someplace else. About 6 months later, our neighbor had a fire, and the firemen cut a hole in our ceiling to check for flames in the attic. There were none, but it let in smoke, which led to us getting a full remodel, and no rent increase!

I remember the day I got a phone call from one of my neighbors. I left work, drove home, and saw what had happened, and looked up at God, smiling, "what are You doing?" I asked, but I had an idea. I didn't dare tell my wife about my prayer until after we were back home from the hotel.

But God likes to do things for us that we ask Him to do.

He's are daddy. Why shouldn't He?

Something I've learned regarding myself is that I can pray for things I don't really care about, but then there are things I do care deeply about. And it seems to me that the prayers I care about are the ones I see answered. Other things are things I feel that I should pray for, but I wonder if God thinks, If you don't care, why are you even asking?

But I think God really wants to have that parent/child relationship with us, and this is one of the ways He does that.

I've long had the picture in my mind of a father surrounded by his children, and he's saying to them, " . . . and you are all agreed on this?" And they are nodding yes . . .

Love in Christ,
Mark
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
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Re: Prayer

Postby burien1 on Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:52 am

I sometimes feel guilty for bombarding heaven with my prayers for everyone, but I know he is capable, and greater than our little minds can even fathom. And I don't believe even the shortest, heartfelt prayer is a waste. We are talking to Him. He has our attention. I believe we will all see that one day.

I think it is a trial of our faith, (even when we know it is strong faith,) when He is silent, or even seems to be absent from our sufferings. We have to trust His word, and not our "feelings." And at those times he is silent, we can turn to His word, which never fails to speak to us from Him. I think even Jesus went through this on the cross.

I learned to trust the Lord with everything in me, when I learned that OSAS was true.(years ago on this very board.) I became like a little toddler , safe and secure holding on to my father's hand, in every situation. So I pray, even when I know I will not see the results this side of heaven. Because I know even when I feel alone, I am not. I know he hears every word, and cares.

P.S. Abiding, you of all people, are not 'Useless.'
Psalm 119:105; Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
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Re: Prayer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:29 am

Mark, I love your story about your apartment and wanting one that was a bit better. I can certainly relate as I've been in my home 28 yrs. and should I live until 2018, I will be mortgage free. But the yard work is killing me. I have a service to mow it, but Florida (if known for something other than sunshine) is famous for growing weeds! Ugh!

God does answer in very creative ways sometimes, doesn't He? I think remembering those times helps us know He does hear and is aware of our situations.
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Re: Prayer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:41 am

burien1 wrote:I sometimes feel guilty for bombarding heaven with my prayers for everyone,


Oh, burien1...that's a new one for me. Most people feel guilty for not praying enough! Thank you for sharing that. I found it precious and heartwarming.

Because I know even when I feel alone, I am not. I know he hears every word, and cares.


I am really in a place I've never been before. I feel like I'm in a wilderness all alone but have been amazed that I'm feeling quite content and have a renewed understanding of what Jesus may have experienced at times. Maybe that's what part of what it means to become conformed to His image. Like we identify with Him in baptism; we can identify with his suffering as you mentioned.

I'm going to take your advice and know that I am holding His hand and am safe and secure even though I feel alone.
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Re: Prayer

Postby GodsStudent on Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:58 am

Lately I have had one emergency on top of another in my life. I went to our family reunion this weekend and two teeth broke right at the gumline. My face swole horrible and I had to go to the ER. They gave me antibiotics and I had to keep going to the ER until yesterday, when I saw an oral surgeon and had surgery. I am SO FAR behind in everything and so overwhelmed...and this seems the place I've been for the longest time ....all of this year, at least.

I heard a part of a sermon that said to run is the worst thing we can do....we have to keep praying and trusting the Lord. Is it the devil working overtime to try to get me down or keep me down? I don't know, but I must pray. Is it the Lord trying to teach me to lean to Him constantly? I don't know, but I must keep praying.

What else can I do?

Yesterday, *and this was what I wanted to say*....a friend emailed me to say that I was a prime candidate for the new movie WAR ROOM. I looked at the trailer and it's about prayer....it was made by the same folk who made fireproof marriage and a few other strong Christian movies. I am looking forward to seeing this movie and hope it will encourage and revive me a little, for I am feeling a bit worn around the edges ...and have been for a very long time.
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Re: Prayer

Postby Spreading Salt on Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:18 pm

Read a great devotional today that touched on this topic Abiding :grin: Taken from http://www.365promises.com/

365 Promises -


Promise #255 - Saturday September 12, 2015

........Even though we go through seasons of feeling isolated and distant, the truth is that God is not distant when we pray. God is closer to us than we could possibly imagine and today's promise from Isaiah 65:24 is an encouragement that He will answer us even before we pray! In Matthew 6:8, Jesus affirms this promise by telling His disciples that their Heavenly Father knows what they need before they even ask!......


I love talking to God about everything and anything. It's a conversation that sometimes includes a request, but pretty much just includes Him in my day. I also love how when I come to Him with a topic that is on my heart, He has an amazing way of changing my perspective through the course of my conversation with Him. :a2:
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Re: Prayer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:18 pm

GodsStudent, I'm sorry I missed your post until now. Not to make light of your tooth problem, but it made me pucker my lips together when I read that. Ouch! I hope you're face and mouth are better by now.

I agree that we sometimes get to a point of frustration when so many things go wrong and feel like the only option we have is to pray that the season of trials will pass soon. Even Jesus was weary and prayed if it was possible the situation He was facing could be removed. Like you said, "what else can we do?"

:comfort:
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Re: Prayer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:25 pm

Spreading Salt wrote:Read a great devotional today that touched on this topic


Thank you for that devotional, Spreading Salt! Those promises are encouraging all the time, but especially when we feel isolated as it said.

I love talking to God about everything and anything. It's a conversation that sometimes includes a request, but pretty much just includes Him in my day. I also love how when I come to Him with a topic that is on my heart, He has an amazing way of changing my perspective through the course of my conversation with Him.


I think that's what Paul meant when he said to pray unceasingly. I think God wants us to communicate with Him and trust that He hears.
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Re: Prayer

Postby Resurrection Torchlight on Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:32 pm

We all have those wilderness experiences from time to time. Those feelings of loneliness and isolation, I have had my share over the years. But one thing I know looking back, that the Lord was always with me. Sometimes I would cry out to Him for what I call a "lifeline", something to encourage me to keep on going, and every time He answered my call. Sometimes it was through encouragement from friends, some here in fact, other times it would be a dream, or something I would read in His word. He is always faithful. I spend time praying for others, but often I do not pray for myself, like Mark said, we need to ask our heavenly Father to lend a helping hand sometimes. There is no shame in admitting our weakness, to each other and even more-so to our God. He is our strength when we are weak.

There is power in prayer, power that I feel I often underestimate, power to change lives, to change the course of circumstances, to change the world!

Something I read recently that really encouraged me was
John 7:37-39
37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ”
39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.


When we come to Jesus and take a drink of His life giving water, He takes that drink and turns it into a river, that flows out of us. I never took note of that before, how we become the source for others who thirst to drink of His life giving Spirit.

Prayer is just one way in which the Holy Spirit flows out of us and into the lives of others. I am in awe of God's desire to accomplish His will through us, what a privilege. Don't ever think that your prayers are unheard, your Father in heaven hears, and when we can't pray we have His advocates who intercede on our behalf:

Romans 8:26-27
26 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;
27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.


Romans 8:34-35
34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?


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Re: Prayer

Postby drdos on Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:46 am

I know this sounds a little bizarre but it is comforting to know that other believers are experiencing the similar trials in life right now. Be comforted in knowing they we are all feeling this weight of the world currently. Like something is about to explode, and change our world in a drastic way. This makes us long even more for the completion to God's plan in our lives, and that soon we will enter God's rest. Also remember that God knows how difficult life is for us all right now. He tells us to patiently endure, because he is coming soon! :mrgreen: Praying for You..
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Re: Prayer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:47 am

drdos wrote:I know this sounds a little bizarre but it is comforting to know that other believers are experiencing the similar trials in life right now.


Doesn't sound bizarre at all, drdos. I heard a sermon yesterday with an example of life I thought was excellent. He said life is kind of like those "connect the dots" pictures we used to do as kids. I thought about that for awhile. I think the straight lines are smooth-sailing times but they inevitable lead to the "dot" which is a difficulty, trial, or confusion of some kind. Knowing we will continually approach "dots" along life's way, should help us to avoid shock or loss of faith.

Peter said it better, of course.... :mrgreen:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you....
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Re: Prayer

Postby drdos on Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:00 am

Abiding in His Word wrote:
drdos wrote:I know this sounds a little bizarre but it is comforting to know that other believers are experiencing the similar trials in life right now.


Doesn't sound bizarre at all, drdos. I heard a sermon yesterday with an example of life I thought was excellent. He said life is kind of like those "connect the dots" pictures we used to do as kids. I thought about that for awhile. I think the straight lines are smooth-sailing times but they inevitable lead to the "dot" which is a difficulty, trial, or confusion of some kind. Knowing we will continually approach "dots" along life's way, should help us to avoid shock or loss of faith.

Peter said it better, of course.... :mrgreen:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you....
Amen! I Love You Sis! Forgive me for being such a butthead in the past! :mrgreen:
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Re: Prayer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:31 am

drdos wrote: Forgive me for being such a butthead in the past!


Drdos, we all have those "butthead-dots" that show up on our journey through life. Onward to the straight line ahead... :lol:

:hugs:
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Re: Prayer

Postby GodsStudent on Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:38 pm

:lol: (and we've all had our period of growth where we have to ask each other for forgiveness, lol)......I get to do that a Lot myself, because I am so.....shall we say outspoken?
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Re: Prayer

Postby drdos on Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:08 pm

GodsStudent wrote::lol: (and we've all had our period of growth where we have to ask each other for forgiveness, lol)......I get to do that a Lot myself, because I am so.....shall we say outspoken?
NOOooooooo :wink: :mrgreen:
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Re: Prayer

Postby Jay Ross on Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:08 pm

We make our Prayer Life so hard/difficult, that we often do not know how to go about it. Often it seems as if we do not believe that God has heard/will hear our prayer and so we keep asking for the same thing. Or we pray band aid type prayers such that we cover up/hide the manifestations of "SIN" with the band aid prayer solutions but do not dealt with the underlying "sin issue."

A Pastor came up with the idea for PUSH prayer, i.e. Pray Until Something Happens, as a means of approaching our prayer life, however he was asked two pertinent Questions: -

1. If God decides to do nothing, has something happened?

And

2. If God does as we ask Him in Prayer, then who is God?

So often we tell people what we want to be prayed rather than tell them the truth about the situation and having faith in the God that we worship, such that we actually believe that the Holy Spirit will prompt people as to when and what they are to pray for, in response to the actual situation for which the prayer is being requested.

I am presently in the process of selling the house that I live in. Many people have offered to pray to help the house sell and in my spirit I have been uneasy with the reason why they have felt that there is a need for them to pray over me on this matter. I was at peace with the process, having faith that if I was acting as lead by the spirit to sell, then God will act to ensure that the house would sell for the right price and at the right time. The selling of the house was like a fleece being put out there to test the rightness of the leading to sell. People gave their advice as to the price that was set, and the means etc. of how we should have gone about the process. The house sold within the normal time frame expectation and the offer was the highest price received for a property in that locality up and until this present time.

Previously, when I had put a house up for sale, people were praying that I would get a good price for the house but I had to ask them to desist from praying for the sale of the house at a good price as they were interfering in the "Godly process" of selling the house. The house did not sell because the offers received were so far under the market value that they could not be accepted. God was wanting us to use the house to be a blessing for others to live in for a season so that they could live and study in an "overseas" locality. That time is now drawing to and end and God will use the house for other purposes and in other ways.

What sadden me, is that there are people who use prayer to oppress people into their perceived ideas of "righteousness"/outcomes instead of using Prayer as a means of blessing others. We should be using prayer as a means of drawing people into God's kingdom rather than as a means of forcing them to receive their "salvation"/outcome on out terms instead of within God's terms for their respective salvation/outcome.

Sadly when this occurs we have entered into sin.
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