Last weekend, I spoke (among many other amazing women of God) at the women’s section of the City of Angles Winter Workshop on Prayer. Here is a copy of my notes from that lesson.
The title of my short charge is Answered Prayer.
To be honest, I really don’t know the answer. Prayer is deeply personal and deeply mysterious. I’ve seen God answer the prayers of the unsaved and not answer the prayers of some of the most righteous people I have had the privilege of knowing.
Prayer exposes my faith on the deepest level.
James 4:2 says; “You do not have, because you do not ask God”.
Mark 11:24; “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Matthew 21:22; “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
…seem simple enough, so ,…Why don’t we pray more??
Because prayer makes us vulnerable, it humbles us and it exposes our doubts our unbelief and our fears.
I don’t know about you but I like formulas…I don’t like mystery or ambiguity because I like to be in control…1+2=3……logic is safe! But God doesn’t do formulas very well.
As Mrs Beaver in the Chronicles of Narnia (by C.S. Lewis) says
God isn’t safe…but he is good! He’s the King I tell you!
Following Jesus isn’t safe, let alone praying to Him! He doesn’t tell us the plan but He tells us God can be trusted. He wants us to pray but He doesn’t answer all our prayers with yes and that can do a number on our faith.
In Matthew 6:9-11 Jesus teaches us how to pray. An ancient prayer, yet God allowed me to see it with fresh eyes.
“O Father in heaven, hallowed be your name
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.”
God wants Dependence and Surrender. And for a control freak like me that’s terrifying.
GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD
Daily dependence. Prayer is a relationship. Jesus did nothing without God.
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing ON MY OWN but speak just what the Father has taught me.”
The beginning of God answering prayer, is a posture of complete dependence.
Jesus couldn’t live without prayer it wasn’t just a check in the box on his schedule…it was abiding in the vine…Complete dependence….desperation.
My logical mind loves definitions, so here is what it means to be dependent.
The state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else. Synonyms include words modern women like me don’t like so much: helplessness, weakness, defencelessness, vulnerability; subservience, and subordination
In Luke 22:42, Jesus says “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
In a moment of agony Jesus prays…and still trusts in Gods love…he doesn’t withdraw or worse take control…but stays vulnerable defenceless, weak, in helpless childlike trust he calls to his Daddy.
Jesus example is profound!
YOUR KINGDOM COME YOUR WILL BE DONE
With a posture of dependence we must now release the last bit of control with surrender.
A lot of my prayers are to change other people including trying to change God in an effort to minimise pain or discomfort….yet Jesus teaches us that when we pray we must also pray for the kingdom to come in my heart. When I pray am I truly praying for My will or God’s will be done?
Surrender says may God’s will be done. Sometimes it never occurs to me that maybe God wants me to be more like Jesus instead of a person or situation changing. God in His ultimate goodness knows the big picture. Answered or unanswered prayers shouldn’t alter my view of Him.
Do we consider that maybe God doesn’t answer our prayers to make us happy? But answers prayer to make us holy?
Please pray for me as I will for you to be dependent and surrendered in my prayers so we can be powerful women of prayer for God!