Believing God…

7 Nov

I tend to have a hard time believing that God wants my good.

It’s not because He hasn’t given me enough reason to believe that He wants my good. It’s not like Him sending His Son to die in my place isn’t quite enough proof that He really is for me.

It’s just that when I pray I find alot of times that I’m kind of pessimistic about my prayer requests.

I don’t have such a hard time believing that God wants other people’s good. I can have alot of faith for other people and praying for other people, I can be real confident that God’s going to accomplish what’s best.

I just, for example, like with this going to Africa thing I can get pretty pessimistic about praying and the funds and whether or not we’re going to make it.

Again, it’s not like God hasn’t given me real clear indications that He’s up to something great.

We went to Africa for a visit and bang, bang it just “fell” in place, everything I’ve been dreaming about – a local church, a group of men passionate about serving the poor, land donated, a group already doing the work willing to “mentor” us, an opportunity to pastor and to train men to be pastors – I seriously could go on and on.

Plus, God’s already raised up about 70 percent of our needed monthly support.

Yet, you know in spite of all that, when I pray I’m still sometimes thinking it’s not going to happen, I’m not going to make it.

I realize part of that, God hasn’t given me a specific promise that I am going to make it to Africa and I have to come to grips with that. But on the other hand He has given me a whole lot of promises about Him doing everything for my good and how He does listen to specific prayers and He does answer specific prayers.

I think about that statement he makes in James,

“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

And to prove his point,

“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the sky poured rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”

I guess what I am saying is that it is just hitting me, while I like to rationalize away my pessimistic attitude with a “I’m just being realistic after all” I need to be more honest what that it is.

It is a lack of faith.

And it is a serious hindrance to my prayer life.

John Calvin puts it like this,

“…those who approach God with a doubting, hesitating mind, without feeling assured whether they are to be heard or not, gain nothing by their prayers…”

And further, to put it more positively he writes,

“This confidence of obtaining what we ask, a confidence which the Lord commands, and all the saints teach by their example, we must…hold fast with both hands, if we would pray to any advantage. The only prayer acceptable to God is that which springs (if I may so express it) from this presumption of faith, and is founded on the full assurance of hope… Prayers are vainly poured out into the air unless accompanied with faith, in which, as from a watchtower, we may quietly wait for God.”

One Response to “Believing God…”

  1. shamslayer October 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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