Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Walking on water and moving mountains

I believe in God. I believe in the Bible. I strive to obey the Bible because I believe it is the word of God. It isn’t always easy. “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Heb 11:1

I have a hard time grasping the concept of prayer. Of course I have an academic understanding that nothing is impossible with God, yet I doubt when I don’t see immediate results. There are a couple of occasions in my life when I cried out to God for requests so big, I wondered if it was my lack of faith that produced results contrary to my desires.

The humorous sentiment in this cartoon is all too true. My faith is stronger when life is certain. It is so much easier. It is easy to pray for things that are not life and death. Like my new car last year. I prayed that a deal would come along that we could afford and eventually it did. Praise God, we had a new car. But when the issue is life or death, the outcome is colossal and it is unfathomable to wait for an answer. That is when walking on water seems impossible.

"Pray for one another, that you may be healed." 
Jam 5.16b

Prayer changes things. I know it to be true because I have witnessed it in small things and in modern day miracles. It can move mountains; God can move mountains, yet when I don’t see the mountain move, I am consumed with sadness and doubt. Why didn’t He hear? Why didn’t He answer?

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Phil. 4.6-7

I have a dear friend who is walking through a valley filled with shadows of sadness and fear. My prayers barely cease for her because I am so consumed with care about her situation. I found myself on my knees while taking a shower yesterday, begging God to perform the miracle that I know He is capable of doing. As I pleaded with a God I cannot see, two little girls pounded on the door to the bathroom. “Let us in!” They cried. “We want in!” Their request interrupted my more important mission, yet what they wanted was simple and persistent. I did not give them what they wanted because of a circumstance they couldn’t possibly understand. Is this how it is with God? He hears the pleas, but we don’t understand the whole situation?

"But you, when you pray, enter into your room. And shutting your door, pray to your Father in secret; and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly." 
Mat 6:6

It is true that having my own children teaches me about God’s love in a way nothing else could. I want good things for my children and giving them good gifts is the highlight of my day, especially when their actions are obedient. It can be beautiful and perfect and I know that is what God desires for us. So I keep praying. I keep praying for my friend and her immediate, dire request. And I keep praying too for my faith to be increased so that walking on water isn’t such a terrifying leap of faith.

"'Have faith in God,' Jesus answered. 'I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, "Go, throw yourself into the sea," and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours'." 
Mark 11:22-25

You can read about my friend’s request at www.danandhillary.blogspot.com. If you believe in prayer, I beg you to ask God to perform a miracle. A mountain doesn’t need to be moved, just a tiny little baby whose life, along with her mother’s, hangs precariously in close to disaster.

"For with God nothing will be impossible." 
Luke 1:37


Kari said...

Prayer, I have had such a sweet season with the Lord this year and totally due to increased prayer in my life. I found your post today so lovely, and mirroring so much of what I have been experiencing this year. I clicked your link and found myself crying and praying.
thank you.

Tawny said...

I just cried for Dan and Hillary and baby.

Michal said...

i, too, believe in prayer and in god's ability to bless us in any way he sees fit. sometimes it is so hard that he hears our prayers but the outcome is not always what we prayed for. we have to remember so submit our will to his. christ prayed, "nevertheless, not my will but thine be done." this is particularly difficult when we want something so desperately and cannot imagine joy in any other outcome.

i know that he loves us perfectly and will bless those who exercise their faith in him--but he will do what is best for them, not always what they wish for. i pray for dan and hillary and their child, and that they will have the peace in the hearts that comes from knowing that god's will is greater than ours and that he is at the helm of their lives.

Marci said...