i've been thinking a lot about prayer lately.
scenario: lets say a woman gets cancer. her family puts her on the prayer list at church. word spreads through families and she gets put on a few other church prayer lists.
some would say our prayers were "answered." i disagree with this phraseology, as no matter what, God answers prayer. its just in this scenario He answered 'yes'. If He had said 'no', or 'wait', the prayers would still be answered, just not in the way that those who prayed wanted them to be.
So the woman gets well, God said 'yes' to the prayers of 'please heal her.'
Did the amount of prayers make a difference?
if there had been less people praying, only one church, just her family, just her? would she not have been healed?
if no one prays for something does good not get done? i think we're obviously not the ones who chooses who gets healed and who gets fed and whatnot.
so if its not up to us
and God has a plan
then what is it that our prayers are swaying?
one thing i do know is that the act of prayer develops the relationship between God and man. its not just a 'can i have this, can you do that?' situation. it can become like venting to a friend. getting advice from a father. when we pray for God's provision and protection we are placing all of ourselves in His hands to maneuver at His will.
so if thats why we pray, then asking God to heal the woman with cancer is placing our trust in Him that His decisions and actions will be good, and better than any other beings decisions and actions on the planet.
So why do multiple people have to do this?
The reason why ive been thinking about this is a little silly. my dog went missing last week, sirius. i miss him so much and have been praying a lot that he is okay and that God would lead him home. it really does sound silly but you have to understand, i love my dog.
it occured to me the other day, that i have prayed more for the return of my puppy then i have for....
oh, people i've known who are lost
people i've known who are hurt
people i've known who are sick
the hungry, the poor, the oppressed that i claim to care so much about.
obviously if i were to pray about every issue on the planet i would never cease to pray
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
im not saying that every second of our consciousness should be active prayer. but its not that inconceivable that every moment we could be in communication with God.
we've put an ad in the paper, we're checking the pound, and the street clean up crew in case he's been hit by a car. i post descriptions of him on facebook and myspace. every night before i go to bed i call his name out hoping he's somewhere near and will respond. when i drive home i go different routes so i can look for him.
how hard do i search for those lost? do i call out their name, calling them home? do i try to find them through any means necessary? do i devise such plans as these?
ive prayed that sirius comes home a lot. does the amount of my prayer change anything?
am i lacking in faith because i'm scared ill never see him again?
even though i know that just because God doesn't say yes doesn't mean He doesn't answer.
is God saying no?
is He asking me to wait?
just because not getting him back isn't what i want, doesn't mean that for some reason its not whats best.
whatever God's decision, i accept it.
what do my prayers mean?
i don't know.
but that doesn't mean ill stop.
if anything ill pray harder, because you can't find out what something means by stopping it. you have to experience it over and over, deeper and deeper. things will never be real to you if you just set them aside.
but for real? im not going to stop praying for my dog, but i should start praying for people more. see what fruit that yields. and throw myself harder into helping others.
throw yourself in harder until you know what it means.
i don't think that prayer would grow bad fruit do you?