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A Praying Life, Chapter 13


Chapter 13: "Why We Can Ask" | Week of June 3, 2018


“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” – Isaiah 57:15


REFLECT:

We often hold incomplete views of God. Sometimes, we only see Him as infinite: a powerful God who is 'out there' but who likely has more important things to worry about than us. Other times, we only see God as personal: He loves us in a kind, emotional way, but doesn't seem able to accomplish what we hope He might. Neither of these captures the infinite-personal God of the Bible.

This Sunday, Pastor Walt shared the parable of the sower from Mark 4, and observed that sometimes Jesus pushes us in a way that doesn't feel nice, but is really for our good. Understanding God as both majestic and humble is one of those pushes that we must wrestle with in order to pray freely.

In chapter 13 of A Praying Life, Paul Miller tells us we have twin challenges that hamper our prayers. First, "We just don't think that God could be concerned with the puny details of our lives." But second, "We don't like God too close, especially if he's a deity we can't control" (Page 101) We must wrestle with God as He presents Himself: One who lives in a high and holy place, but also with humble and repentant people. 

RESPOND:

As Miller says, "'Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven' (Matt. 6:10) is actually scary." (Page 101) Do your fears of or about God hinder your praying life? Do your fears lean more toward disbelief that God actually cares, or panic that He will do things in a way you don't think you will like? Spend some time thinking about what it might look like to let the all-powerful Creator of the universe actually transform you to have the trusting confidence of a child... because if you trust in Jesus, you are a child of God. (John 1:12) 

PRAY NOW:

As you spent time reflecting on the above questions, where does your heart need to be revived? Re-read Isaiah 57:15 at the top of this post, and pray for God to work on your heart to help you to trust that He is both infinitely powerful and personally for you. 

PRAY LATER:

The apostle Paul asks a great question in his letter to the Romans: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31) As you experience the challenges of the week, tackle them by praying to the God who is for you, asking Him to grow you into a fruitful person. It's absolutely OK to ask Him to resolve the situation, too, but put your emphasis on asking Him to do the work of transformation in your heart this week. 

PRAY AS A FAMILY:

Pray together that God will show you both how powerful He is and how good He is this week in ways that will be obvious to your children. And when you see Him at work, thank Him together, too.

Tags : prayer, devotional