Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Sad Wonder

If there be anything under heaven that I am as sure of as I am of the demonstrations of mathematics, it is the fact that God hears prayer. Answers to prayer have come to some of us not now and then, on rare occasions, so that after a series of years we have a few facts to collate, but they come to us as ordinary circumstances of everyday life.

God has heard for us prayers about great things and prayers about little things; prayers about things that we could reveal to others, and prayers about secret matters in which none could join us. We have had so many answers to prayer that the fact is far beyond any further question with us; and yet there may be a matter pressing upon our heart for God’s glory, and it may be a subject about which we could plead a precise promise, such as this — “If two of you are agreed as touching anything concerning my kingdom, it shall be done unto you,” and yet we are half afraid that our prayer will not be heard: the husband afraid that the conversion of his wife will never occur; the wife fearful that that swearing husband of hers will not after all yield to the importunate entreaties which she has addressed to heaven; a teacher in a Sunday-school class still afraid that his children, though often prayed for, will not be converted. We have many prayers, but how little faith is mingled with them!

From a sermon entitled "The Sad Wonder," delivered June 12, 1870. Image by Patrick Doheny under Creative Commons License.


Helga Hickman said...

I was going out the door, headed for court this morning, and I stopped and said to myself: I am going to pray for God to help me!

Immediately, I thought, He has already done much for me: I woke up this morning and am in possession of my faculties!

Indeed, sometimes I catch myself thinking: so many are the time I "bother" God asking for that which He will give me if it be right, anyway! And He does, and He has, ALWAYS, even when I was not aware of it!

I have learned through the years that should I be walking right with Him, I need fear nothing! And I don't, for I have Him as my confidant!

Well, I won in court! Came out much further ahead than I expected!

One more time He shows me how not to worry, for He will take care of me if I but put my trust in Him! Praise God, I do!

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6 (King James Bible)

Benety said...

Thanks for your post helga and congratulations on coming out ahead today.

Do you think prayer is able to change God's mind or is it to change ours? I know there are precedents in the bible where many have suaded God to rethink his actions but ...

I have historically always appeased unanswered prayers by rationalizing that its not God's plan. Am not sure if its the right way to think about it.

Hypothetically, say a person is bounded by an addiction of some sought and wishes to be set free. Do you see any possible reason why God will not immediately do so if asked? I instantaneously think of Job ... but its hard to have that perspective from our abstraction level.