If you don’t ask, God won’t give
Read the words often spoken, which reflect our distorted views on prayer: One. “We’ve tried everything else. I guess we will have to pray and hope God does something.” Two, “Sadia’s baby is okay now. Somebody said they had phoned a church to pray for him. He probably would have gotten better anyhow.” Three, “I certainly would like to see things happen in our family, but, well, I guess God knows best. We’ll just hope everything works out right.”
These are the examples of human ignorance. Note that the word is ignorance, not stupidity. Ignorance is a commentary on what we don’t know; stupidity on what we don’t do. Our prayerlessness could be called stupid if the inaction did not derive from an amazing failure to understand God’s attitude about prayer. Knowing His attitude will determine ours. No one would intentionally buy into a defunct business. If prayer is a wild goose chase, then let us forget it. Sadly, prayer ends up as a last ditch option, an expression of resignation to fate.
Who needs prayer? The only reason to pray is to propitiate an Almighty who taunts, not to reverence the One who triumphs. Recognize Him cautiously lest you incite His wrath, but don’t expect anything from Him except maybe an annual lucky day. We need to repent, this means gaining a new mentality or mindset. Let us get three things straight: First, God is a good God. Second, sin and Satan- flesh and hell- have fouled up God’s intended processes for mankind. Third, the redeemed, those who have received God’s gift of life through Jesus- are the main channel of His dealing in grace and goodness on this planet.
The image of a frowning Jehovah, brooding in anger and perched on the edge of a high cliff with a quiver of lightning bolts ready for hurling at the helpless, must be smashed. The beauty of the Father’s personality was so perfectly mirrored in Jesus himself, that the Saviour declares, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father,” John 14:9. His compassion for the victims of human dilemma and His triumph over each dilemma He encounters, furnishes us with a stamp of God’s image. God is good. God does good. He cannot even be tempted to do otherwise, James 1:13.
With the workings of Satan, there is the self-inflicted turmoil we heap upon ourselves by ignorance of and rebellion against spiritual laws. The Law of Sowing and Reaping, Galatians 6:7,8 is as certain as the Law of Gravity. Much for which mankind indicts God as unkind is the simple harvest of man’s own folly. The whole purpose of Jehovah’s commands is to warn against the destructive power of sin; not to badger man with a set of rules, which would take the wind out of full sail living. Carnal violation of healthy order produces confusion.
Prayer is the determining factor. But the problem is that too few wants to accept that if we don’t pray, God won’t do anything. This presents more than a problem; it breeds a controversy – the debate between human responsibility and Divine sovereignty. To some, man’s responsibility suggests eternal issues are sacrificed because of man’s imperfection. To others, Divine sovereignty suggests a universe in which God’s will makes everything happen. The answer is, man is responsible for his fate. As the word karma means, man shall get whatever he gives. Sin isn’t forgiven; it is only postponed till retribution cannot be evaded. God blesses the fruits of the labour of your hands. If you do nothing, you absolve God from helping you. Which is why he prays the most who works hardest.
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