“It will be done just as you believed it would.” It sounds like some New Age, impossible, airy-fairy, feel-good but not true statement, doesn’t it?
But who said it? Our wise and wonderful Saviour (Matthew 8:13).
Earlier this year, I listened to the whole of Matthew on my long walks, and was forcibly struck by this: the importance of faith.
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A question I’ve pondered all my Christian life is this: What makes the difference between one Christian and another? One answer is: their faith. It is their expectancy that God will answer their prayers.
I once had a Charismatic pastor a few years ago who used to say, “If you can’t see it, you can’t have it.” And I used to think, airy-fairy rubbish.
But, he’s somewhat right, I now thing. If we are working for something, let’s say on finishing a book, or developing a blog so that is will gain as many readers as it is capable of gaining, or in developing a business, we need more than a strategy. We have to someone see each part of the strategy, see it working. Else, we will work half-heartedly, at cross-purposes with ourselves, not really believing that what we hope will happen
If we cannot “see” each element of our strategy ( for instance in blog growth, in writing, business, weight loss) working, ask yourself why. Perhaps you will uncover areas of self-doubt ; perhaps you will uncover your sense that your plan is too grandiose, is a wish rather than a plan, so that you don’t really believe you can do it or it can be done.
This self-doubt, the sense that what we are working with is a dream rather than a plan can paralyse.
Go back to the drawing board. So, you doubt that you will put in the hours walking to lose 26 pounds a year. Okaay, how about a pound a month, twelve a year?
You doubt you will find the hours to write a page of your book a day? How about 250 words.
I am all for dreaming big, but if I cannot see it happening, I settle for a dream I can believe it.
It will be done just as you believed it would. But yet the power is not in our faith, the power is in God. However, I am too old, too weary, too battered to pray for things I cannot see happen (though I still dream big and wild, I assure you.)
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I have just had a HUGE disappointment. Something huge which I was sure would happen—and so did not pray enough about– did not.
Would prayer have changed the outcome? YES, I believe so, for it would have changed my behaviour, and the role I played in what happened.
The good thing that happens when our prayers are not answered, is that all our theological presuppositions get thrown up into the air. And we realize again that we are dealing with mystery.
The power is not in our faith, the power in in God.
The power is not in the faithfulness of our prayers; the power is in the faithful one.
And while we definitely want to pray in the way Jesus commended, we understand that prayer is talking to God, and He himself is the land of our heart’s desire, more important, more precious and beautiful than what we say to him.