What would you ask God about prayer? I mean, if you could ask Him anything about prayer itself, what would you like to know?
Here’s a good one:
- “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1-2 NIV)
Waiting for the answer that doesn’t show up right away, or after several years, or ever… that’s one of the great puzzles traveling alongside the praying life. If you’ve prayed more than once, you have probably run up against this same dilemma.
Wonder what God would say. How would he answer that one?
If you look into his word you’ll find that prayer is a human activity, so it’s subject to the same distortions, failures and diluting influences as any other human activity. Prayer is a flawed person trying to carry on a conversation with the Holy One. We often fail at it. We mistreat others and then expect to have prayers answered – we corrupt the process (See Isaiah 58 & 1 Peter 3:7).
All your prayers are filtered through your spirit. A contaminated spirit will shred them before they even reach heaven.
Or what about this question:
- “Is this your usual way of dealing with man, O Sovereign LORD?” (2 Samuel 7:19b NIV).
King David’s astonishment at the Lord’s generosity to him overflowed, producing this emotional question. He had planned to build God a temple, but instead the Lord revealed that he planned to build a house for David – a living house, a dynasty that would never end… a blood-line that culminated in the Messiah.
Sometimes prayer brings such powerful blessings that we’re overwhelmed. We know we don’t deserve such answers, but they come anyway.
As the Apostle Paul quoted Isaiah he said, “‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’ – but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NIV)
Why is God so good to us, often answering prayers in spite of our rebellion?
Or, here’s one more:
- “How have we shown contempt for your name?” (Malachi 1:6b NIV)
The people of Malachi’s day found it hard to worship God sincerely. They worshiped, but it wasn’t from the heart. It became difficult to maintain their heart-felt enthusiasm for God and their relationship with him.
Why is it so hard to pray consistently? Why do we find it difficult? Why isn’t it a joy to be with him – our Father in heaven?
I’m not sure, but I know we all face it. Our love, our prayer life, our devotion to him comes and goes. I want to cure that, don’t you?
What other questions would you ask God about prayer?