Monday, June 23, 2008

God Cares About Us

Teach Us To Pray: Part 1

Prayer is an essential ingredient to our relationship with God. If we desire a relationship with God that is both real and personal then we have to be people of prayer. Prayer isn’t about saying the right words or using the right formula to get God to move on our behalf, but prayer is about connecting with our Heavenly Father. Prayer also isn’t about giving God a to do list so we can have the type of lives we think will make us happy, but it is about orientating our lives to God and His will.

I think this quote by E. Stanely Jones a good place to start when it comes to prayer:
“Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God. Aligned to God’s redemptive will, anything, everything can happen in character, conduct, and creativeness. The whole person is heightened by that prayer contact. It that contact I find health for my body, illumination for my mind, and moral and spiritual reinforcement for my soul. (pg. 316; 1001 Great Stories and Quotes)

A healthy relationship with God requires prayer. We are moved to pray when we understand who God is and that He desires what is best for our lives. Here is a question I want you to consider: Do you trust God to do what is best for you?

It can be hard to trust God to do the right thing. The list of people who have turned their backs on our Creator because He didn’t come through the way they thought He should is a long one. Even Christian can have a hard time trusting God if He has disappointed us in the past. Perhaps you can identify with Sam. Sam is a young friend of author John Eldredge who is finishing grad school. Eldredge writes about a phone conversation the two had:
“We were chatting about all the pressures and demands that go with such a time in life (grad school)--and a new marriage added to the equation--when I asked him a question designed to change the direction of the conversation, lift his eyes to the horizon. ‘Sam, what is bringing you joy these days?’ A moment’s pause. He then began to talk about a sea kayak he was saving up for, hoped to purchase come September. ‘But I feel like God is opposed to it.” The comment struck me as odd. It felt...out of the blue. ‘Why?’ I asked. ‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘I guess I find it hard to believe that he wants anything good for me.’” (The Way of the Wild Heart, pg. 23)

How do you feel about God? Do you think He wants good things for you? I realize that it is hard to believe that God has our best interests at heart when He fails to come through for us like we think a friend should. But remember God is more than just our friend, He is also Sovereign who knows the end of all things. He is in a much better place to understand what is best for us.

I know that it is hard to believe that when you lose a spouse to cancer, have a child who turns their back on God, when finances are always a struggle, or a job never seems to materialize. It is easy to wonder where God is in all of this.

Even when things are going well we can find ourselves unable to enjoy them because we are waiting for the other shoe to drop. While we may never vocalize it that way, there is a part of us that feels just like Sam, that it is hard for us to believe that God wants good things for us.

This is what I want you to get today’s pondering: Prayer reveals what we believe about God. If we believe that God doesn’t care about our lives or giving us good things then we will not be motivated to pray, but if we believe that God cares for us and is actively working on our behalf then we will fall on our knees and cry out to Him. Remember what the apostle Peter wrote: Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you (1 Peter 5:7, NLT). We need to have faith that God cares about us, even when it appears He is doing nothing.

  • Point to Ponder: Prayer reveals what we believe about God.
  • Passage to Remember: 1 Peter 5:7
  • Question to Consider: Do you trust God to do what is best for you?

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