“And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.””(Mark 10:51)
If you are anything like me, then your prayer life leaves much to be desired. As I once wrote, I am learning but I still have a long way to go. There are many challenges to us praying that come up.
Sometimes it’s our theology. We can tie ourselves in knots over Gods sovereignty and essentially come to the conclusion that because God is sovereign, our prayers cannot move him. Grudem explains how wrong this is, and it’s devastating effect on our prayer life:
One of the biggest problems in theology is when we make deductions which themselves are based on deductions we have made from Scripture.
If we were really convinced that prayer changes the way God acts, and that God does bring about remarkable changes in the world in response to prayer, as Scripture repeatedly teaches that He does, then we would pray much more than we do. If we pray little, it is probably because we do not really believe that prayer accomplishes much at all. (Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, p. 377.)
The problem is not that there are some things the Bible actually says, other things that we imply from what it says (eg the Trinity which isn’t named as such in the Bible but is a reasonable deduction from it).
The problem is when we take things that we assume or understand based on the bible then build things on top of that eg “God is unchangeable (TRUE) therefore our prayers can’t change him (FALSE)”.
When it comes to prayer God responds to us but his nature doesn’t change. It’s like a parent who says if you do this I will take your toys away from you: if the child keeps doing it the toys are taken away. If they stop then the toys aren’t taken away. It’s in a sense the child who changed BUT the parent did change their behavior to them (but not their nature).
So for us today God is asking each of us “what would you like me to do for you.” Our answer is found in our prayer life. So, for some of us that is a deafening silence. Let’s make that not so.
He is willing and able to act on our behalf. Let’s dare to believe that and speak to him today.