Prayer - a lifestyle


Friday Reflection


22nd January 2021

not an emergency exit

6 "Do not be anxious about anything,
   but in every situation,
   by prayer and petition,
   with thanksgiving,
   present your requests to God."

....Philippians 4:6, NIV

Were you told, as a child,
that you should never pray
for yourself, only for others?

Has this stayed with you
making you feel guilty
and selfish when you find
yourself asking God for
something for yourself?

It's ok, you don't need
to feel guilty;
Jesus taught his disciples to pray..

'give us today our
daily bread and
forgive us our sins'.

and in the above verse Paul
specifically says you should,

'in every situation,
by prayer and petition..
present your requests to God.'

The Psalms are full of
King David's prayer for himself.

Christians often gloss over this verse
without considering fully
what it means.
It does sound rather non-specific
but if we really study it;
while it sounds like a verse of
comfort, it is a command.

The two ideas are contrasted
in such a way that they are
presented as opposites.
The verse says,
'Do not do 'A', do 'B' instead.

The part that is easy to
overlook is the 'B'.
Some people are very anxious
to ask God for things.

Taken to extremes,
it becomes ridiculous,
leading to a theology where
God is our servant,
whose duty it is to make our
lives here on earth
more of our liking.

Prosperity theology asserts
that the purpose of Christianity
is to put large amounts of money
into the pockets of those
who worship Jesus.

But God does not promise that
he will make us rich,
healthy, beautiful or popular.

We do not present our requests
to God because he will
automatically fill them.

Prayers are always answered,
but not necessarily as we
want them to be answered.

Because we don't know
what's best for us.
God intends to perfect us for
eternity through his grace,
but our salvation may include
suffering of various kinds
during our earthly lives.

The suffering may be extreme;
as always, we look to Jesus.
If God allows himself to be
tortured to death and
hung on a cross for
public ridicule,
we cannot expect our lives
on earth to be a comfortable,
seamless procession of
earthly riches.

We ask God for what we want,
not because we are going to get
exactly what we ask for,
but because God tells us to.

Why? I don't know, perhaps it's so
that we acknowledge our
dependence on him;
but I know that he knows our
needs better than we do,
and Paul tells us;

'in all things God works
for the good of those
who love him,
who have been called
according to his purpose.'

...Romans 8:28

There is the promise of a
specific benefit in this verse.
God commands us to pray
for what we want,
and not be anxious about anything.

This seems to imply that of we
pray for what we want,
it will alleviate our anxiety.
We show faith by praying for
what we want,
even if we do not get it.

We show that we accept
the things God gives us -
for all good things,
even the basic fact of our
lives, are gifts from God.

But the point here is that
it's not greedy to ask for
what we want, just the opposite.
God has commanded us to do it;
to keep on praying -
even if the answer is 'No'.

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'My Prayer For You '
(Official Lyric Video)
sung by
Alisa Turner
via the link shown below.