What to pray for? (1999)

Hi all,

Just taking some time out before my project group comes over to do work…

Anyway, this morning, at home, i was in the toilet bathing when I was just thinking about life, the world, the universe bla bla. Running water down a bald head is really stimulating to the brain i say.

Ok, I was just thinking this: what should i pray for today? If I am to pray for someone, what would God want me to pray for? It’s strange, but my brain was saying: look, if God doesn’t want X to do well for his exams, X will not do well. So if I pray for X :dear God, pls let X do well for his exams, let him have wisdom and peace of mind. you know, the “correct” lines of thought…..what happens then?

I want to pray for everyone to be well, to be happy, for the world to be good and peaceful. But that is not to be, as everyone knows. So my mode of thought shifts again: If I pray for X, I should just pray for his peace of mind so that he can go thru the exam without any bulging headaches or objects crashing thru the roof onto his head. Whether I should pray for him to do well: how? I put that thought aside…

Then another case arises: if i should pray for someone who is ill or in trouble…how now? How can I not pray for their recovery?I MUST pray for their recovery, indeed, i will not be human if i just pray for God to just do his will as He willed it to be. Even if God wants to take this person away, I must still pray for that person’s life or sanity, cos I am not willing to accept or want that person to be unwell. Then when I pray for something and God says “no”, I become bitter and shattered. What’s the next step?

Two possible routes: Acknowledge God’s overwhelming will, give thanks for lessons learnt and perseverence gained. The soul has undergone trials to build character so that i may further build myself and others up. Then the other step I fear I would take: failure to take things into “God’s perspective” (ala pastor’s sermon on Sun), extreme bitterness, walking away from God, losing myself to Satan.

THEN a third question arises in my head as I write this: God, are you listening to all this? U must, cos I believe in You. So how? What assures me that I will take the former route and not to destruction?

So an answer pops into my head now: Why do u think we attend church, engage in fellowship, or foster love in a Christian home? Because when we are weak, we need reminders from others to keep Hope in sight. When we are young in Christ, our faith might crumble easily due to its budding status. It is precisely suffering that builds faith. For without adversity we become complacent and proud, like many dudes in the Bible. God disappears from our vision, only to see his “right hand” strike us down when it is too late.

As for prayer, look at things from all perspectives and learn to see selfish or just self-centred prayers, isolating prayer-worthy stuff from the rest. Pray for our souls, for the souls of others. If I dunno what to pray for, don’t fret baby. Pray with concerted faith, and see God’s will unfold cos in the first place, it was a stupid thing to try and second-guess His actions. And though the Spirit groans and aches even when we fret, doing things for us automatically, but if I can be specific, why not? Ok, ok, I know all of u are complaining now, why so long. sorry, my mind takes some time to assemble some things. Anyway, that’s all I have to say now.

God bless

Ian.

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