Wednesday, June 18, 2014

God is more than Good (Updated with Tidbits about prayer)

I really like Psalm 43. It says, "Oh send out your light and your Truth, let them lead me. ........Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him; The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 43: 3-5
In our church sometimes we say God is good; all the time; All the time, God is good. But I think that the statement "God is good" is an understatement because His goodness is amazing. His love is amazing. And the word "amazing" does not even come close to describing How good God is. The Bible tells us that the peace that God gives "passes understanding." That means it is beyond what we can understand. I think it is the same with the hope that He gives. It passes understanding and the goodness that He gives; it passes understanding. I praise you God. Then I think of all the people who reject God and I wonder, why would anyone want to not have this hope, this goodness and this peace in their lives. I don't understand that at all! BTW, this is a scrapbook page I made of my children and myself when we were in Tallahassee, Florida. I hope you have a wonderful day! Tidbits about Prayer One day, a long time ago, when my kids were 6 or 7 and 4 or 5 or so or maybe younger, I don't remember exactly how old they were but they were around that age I was helping out a lady who was teaching Sunday School. She was the lead teacher and I was helping her. After the class ended we were just chatting for a while and I may have mentioned prayer because she asked me what is prayer, how do you pray. For a second I was taken aback and shocked that someone who was a member of the church longer than our family, who was probably older than me and who was leading Sunday school, how come such a person did not know how to pray and what prayer was. So anyway I overcame my surprise at her question and explained what prayer meant to me. I think I also gave her a small prayer sheet of Moms in prayer international since I was part of a moms prayer group. That incident made me realize that not everybody who faithfully attends church knows how to pray. I love to pray and take everything in my life to God. God gives us hope for our life but if we don't know how to pray we cannot access that hope in our life. Jesus prayed a lot. He would wake up early in the morning and pray. If the son of God needs to pray I think, lesser mortals like us definitely need to pray. I feel sad that so many people come to church looking for hope but don't know the basics. Because there are many people who do come to church who are from strong Christian families and who do know how to pray and lead the christian life often everybody assumes that everyone else is also raised in a strong Christian family and knows how to pray. But not everybody does as this incident that happened to me reveals. So I decided to write on my blog some things I know about prayer. #1. A quiet place and a time you know you will not be distracted. we can pray anywhere but it is best to have a calm and peaceful environment when choosing a time and place to pray. It is best to find a time when there is not any demand for our time or attention. For me this time is the morning. Waking up earlier than the rest of your family will help you a lot in finding a quiet place and time to pray. #2. How to address God. In the Bible the disciples did not know how to pray and so they asked Jesus how to pray. Then Jesus said to them this is how to pray and said "Our Father in heaven, holy is your name, Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. we can use this same format to address God, so we can call Him our Father, then we can declare that He is Holy, because He IS Holy and then we can ask Him that He would make His kingdom come. His kingdom is a place where love, joy and peace reigns. When we are asking for His kingdom we are only asking for His love, joy and peace wherever we are. Then we ask Him that His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. We ask for His will because His will is the best. It is always better than our will or anyone else's will. He always knows what is best because He is smarter than us. After addressing Him like this, we can proceed to tell him our requests. We can bring any need we have to Him. We can pray for a job, we can pray for good health, we can pray for guidance in decision making, we can pray that our children do well in school, we can pray that our children become Godly and honor God, we can pray for our near and dear ones, our friends and family. Anything that causes us worry, stress or tension needs to be prayed and brought before God. After we bring our requests to God, we can Thank Him for answering our prayers. This strengthens our faith. For example, if you are praying for a job, we can first ask God for the job we want and then thank Him for answering our prayer because in our faith we already have what we are hoping for because we are confident about our heavenly Father's love and care for us. #3 Consistent and persistent in prayer Our prayer cannot be occasional. It has to be everyday. God is like our oxygen. Oxygen is what we need to breathe in order to live. Prayer brings God's presence into our life and so we cannot live without prayer because we cannot live without God. A life worth living is always with and in the presence of God. Do people live without God? yes, they do. But it is not a life that is worth living. With God, life can be so much more than what it is without Him. #4. Praying God's word over us. Reading the word of God is of utmost importance. The Bible tells us that man cannot live by bread alone but instead human beings live by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Just as bread, pasta, pizza, cereal, fruits and veggies nurtures and nourishes our physical selves, the word of God nourishes our spiritual selves. If we did not eat food we would starve to death. If we do not have the word of God we would starve as well. Another aspect to reading God's word is praying God's word over us. For example God's word promises us many things in our life. It promises good health, joy, peace, blessing, (which means a Godly type of happiness) etc. We can look for promises in the word of God and pray those over us. #5. Pray without ceasing. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. That means that all through the day we can pray. We can pray silent prayers always at the back of our minds as we carry out our various chores and responsibilities. This helps us maintain our connection to God who is the source of all goodness. #6 The Results of prayer The result of prayer is rarely dramatic or immediate although in some instances it can be. But as we persevere in prayer we will notice that slowly, surely, quietly, without fanfare, sound or fury God is changing things in our lives, answering prayer beyond our wildest imagination, always faithful and always trustworthy. Sometimes God's answer to a prayer request is NO. That does not mean that God does not love us or that He does not care or that He is unable to help us. It only means He has a better plan. But sometimes when we get No as an answer to our prayer we can be heartbroken. AT such times it is so important to know that He knows what is best for us and to trust Him.

No comments: