Wednesday, October 13, 2004

unbelief & prayer

This week we read Mark 9:14-32. Neat story; we focused in on the father who wants his demon-possessed son to be healed:

21 Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?"
22 "From childhood," he answered. "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
23 " 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
24 Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

We just talked about what a neat thing that was to say - "I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!". So then we talked about unanswered prayer a bit. Below are some quotes that Mike from my church compiled & had in the prayer room one time. This is what triggered my thoughts on it.

The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer. F.B. Meyer

From Jerry Sittsers book, When God Doesnt Answer Your Prayer
He lost his mother, wife, and daughter in an accident in 1991

When all other courses of action have been eliminated, when we stand at the edge of the abyss, when we approach God with empty hands and an aching heart then we draw close to the true heart of prayer.

The reason why we dont pray moreand probably dont see more answers to prayeris not because we dont know how to pray, but because we dont really need to pray. We are not desperate enough.

Unanswered prayer breaks us, seasons us, and refines us so that, in the end, we attain greater spiritual depth and greater spiritual power.

Strange as it may sound we need unanswered prayer.
It is Gods gift to us because it protects us from ourselves.

Lack of patience and persistence, so common in popular culture,
inhibits our growth in the art of prayer.

If answers to prayer came too easily, we would lose interest,
not only in prayer, but also in God.

We need to ask God to take this fragile, selfish, flawed self of ours
and make it more like him. God will answer that prayer.

Instead of unanswered prayer, perhaps there are only answers to
prayer that we dont want, cant foresee, and wouldnt ask for.

When we are ready to quit, God might just be warming up.

If we give God time, he usually does something bigger and better
than what we could have imagined.

Prayer ends up writing an epic, not a short story

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