Tuesday, March 1, 2011

See, It Worked!

Back in August I wrote this post asking readers to tell me how they feel about the phrase, "God answers prayer." I loved the insight I gained through those of you who commented, and then I wrote a short, follow-up here. At the time, I didn't feel like I could adequately express how I was processing that phrase, and the truth is, I still can't. And I still need to be careful with that topic, but there is one thing I'd like to address.

Have you ever sat in a group with others who are discussing prior prayer concerns, and when the request was "answered" the way the group thought it should go, heard the phrase, "See, it worked!"

It worked. Like a magic act.

What if Suzy didn't get the job? What if Bob wasn't healed of cancer? Would the group then say, "Oh...those prayers didn't work."

I sure hope not. I really doubt it.

But it really feels that way to me. Sometimes I see status updates on facebook about God answering prayer, and it seems to me that it only happens when something goes the way we want it to. Like if we say it loud enough and long enough, if we beg like a small child in the toy aisle, God will change His mind.

Honestly, I don't mean to sound sarcastic or horrible. It's a profound struggle for me. To hear the phrase, "See it worked!" after discussing prayer...just seems wrong for some reason.

"I've learned that my prayers are so many times less about getting an answer to my questions and [more about] honoring Him with my time so that He can speak to me those words that He knows I need." - Joel

Still have lots of internal work to do on this topic.


elainaann said...

Great topic. And so true. Why do we tend to only give God credit when we get what we want.

His ways are higher than our own.

Mindy said...

AMEN! This phrase does NOT sit well with me.

Miller Racing Family said...

Fabulous post. I always love how you get us to thinking. I always try to think I should be thankful when God doesn't answer my prayers the way I want them as he knows what I can and can't handle.

Jenni said...

What a wonderful post! I love your honesty and insights. I've often struggled with this exact same thing. I just found your blog through the Blog Guidebook. I'm loving it! Feel free to check mine out as well: The Proverbs 31 Project: One Mom's Mission


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