Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mark 11-12: Pray . . . and believe for answers

For some reason, and I'm not sure exactly why, I don't always believe my prayers will change anything.

That's not entirely true. I really do believe that prayer, time spent talking to God and listening for his voice, changes me, the way I think, the way I respond to the world around me.

But I am hesitant to pray for anything specific.

And so I struggle with passages like John 15:7, where Jesus says, "If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you can ask whatever you will, and it will be given you." I have seen people abuse passages like this and pray for Cadillacs. (As far as I know they haven't received Cadillacs.)

Or this one in Mark 11, where Jesus talks about moving mountains into the sea. First, I can't imagine why anyone would want to move a mountain into the ocean, but I have always assumed that was symbolic. Just an example of a seemingly impossible situation.

And then, if we don't doubt, whatever we ask for in prayer, if we believe that we have received it, then it will be ours.

It really goes with those other verses that promise nothing is impossible with God, with faith in God.

Most of the time, though, I don't even know what to ask for.

I woke up early Friday morning and read this section before starting work on my conference paper, and I paused when I came to this section. Besides finishing the paper, what do I want to ask for with regard to this conference?

What does God want to do during my time in New York?
What "divine appointments"?

I don't know.

I did finish the paper. Sent it off on Friday at 1:55 p.m., which is basically 5:00 in New York. Now I need to tweak it for an oral presentation.

And pray for _________________

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