Thoughts on YOUR ways… and prayer

First published by Norma Hill, October 15, 2008

We see You do things in a certain way at a certain place and time with a certain group of people – and we think, “Oh that is so awesome!  Wow!  That’s so cool!  THAT’S how God works!  THAT’s the way to do it!”

We love formulas with guaranteed results. We love science!  Dependable “laws of the universe.” So we get all excited and try our very best to reproduce that event or whatever into our own place and time and group… and at least 90 percent of the time (it seems to me) it just doesn’t work out!  We like things that seem simple and do-able and reproducible – but You don’t seem to work that way.

Oh yes, there are definitely “principles” (that are really outgrowths of Your unchanging, dependable character and nature)… but oh, the details are so complex, so intricate, so far, far, far beyond our comprehension and our sight… and so YOUR WORK, really, when it comes right down to it, changes every time, in that every time, every place, every person, every surrounding circumstance and history and experience is different from the next – and so every “solution,” every working-out, every dealing You do, is also going to be different in its details – how, when, where, why, what, who, place, time, events, and so on.

And yet, always, there is one sure and sound and firm, unchanging foundation – YOU!  And the character and nature that IS YOU – Agape love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, loving kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, holiness, uprightness/ righteousness, perfect holy judgment…

And while, as we are Your children, You are “growing” us into the “fruit of Your Spirit,” none of us is “there” yet, not finally, in this lifetimes (I believe it must be an eternal process… and that we will, in the end, never be exactly as You… but we will, nonetheless, be “perfected” in and by and through You – Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit!)  (Is that right?)

So – we have to depend on You – give everything over to You – surrender all to You – and just stand still and see that You are God and that You are working our Your eternal purposes and plans – in Your perfect – and infinitely complex; and wisely creative ways!  Thank You!  In Jesus’ name!  Amen!

I don’t know how or what to pray for all these young people – and others – that You have brought into my life at one time or another, in one way or another –

I pray this or that for them. Sometimes it’s what I really believe You are telling me to pray. Sometimes I just love them and want THE BEST for them (and yes, sometimes that becomes, in my prayers, what “I” see as the best for them… salvation, great ministry, families and children following You… all of those being good things and things that are Your general will according to Your Word – well, I’m not so sure about the “great ministry” thing… but for sure serving and loving You and serving and loving others (our “neighbors”)…

Anyway, then I stop and think – it doesn’t look like things are going to way I’ve prayed (and hoped)…. For example, I’ve been praying for ___ and his sister now for a good 7 or 8 years at least (and really felt YOU telling me to pray – for all those good things above), and his sister didn’t come to You (as far as I know) and she died an awful death, and I don’t see him coming to You either… anyway, I begin to realize:

1. You tell us to pray – and keep praying. So just the praying is obedience to You, and even though You don’t “need” our prayers, You desire them and even work through them. Wow!

2. We can’t see what is going to happen down the line… we may never live long enough to see the answers here in our lifetime

3. You ARE fulfilling Your general will – but You are doing it in Your infinitely unique ways and times

4. Everything we pray for is far more complex than we can imagine, so we really do have to leave it all up to You, because You are the only One who can truly see – and work out – all the myriad complexities of the whole big picture!

5. In the end, we DO have free will (more or less – but surely to some degree… still don’t quite “get” all that, Lord!  Does anyone?  Besides You, I mean?)

So… I’m to keep praying… and learning to hear YOUR voice, YOUR Spirit, over my voice and my ways and wishes and my misunderstandings! (and even, yes, let You – long for You – to have Your Spirit do the praying!  Yes!)

Yes. It’s all about You. Period.

“And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4

Thank You. Amen!