||2013-09-15 08:34:48, 조회 : 1,848, 추천 : 422
| Chapter 9 |
In Times of Need
Pratt tells us about a story of when he was a child and his dealings with asthma. I myself have never had that condition, however my younger brother has. I’ve witnessed incidents where my brothers asthma got so bad, he literally gasps for air so that he could just survive. There were some occasions where it got so bad, my parents would have to call the ambulance for him. Pratt also had many similar events. He compares those times to our “weighty needs” and “trivial needs”. When we ask God, for things, what should our motive be? What are we trying to change when we ask God for things? How should we expect God to respond?
1. Need and Greed
In life, we are always yearning for something more. For instance, I live in a 2 bedroom apartment and its perfect for me, my spouse and son. However, when I drive around certain areas in Maspeth, Queens they have such beautifully built and decorated houses. Even when you go to Manhattan, there are high rise buildings with penthouses and a doorman. I often think to myself “I wish I had a place like this”. I’m sure everyone that is reading this, has also done so at one point of their life. But when we request such things to God, often times it can come out as us being selfish. Pratt compares it to a whiny child in a toy store saying “Will you buy this for me? Will you buy this too? And what about this?”. God blesses us with so much, yet we always come back asking for more and more. The Bible encourages us to ask for what we need, Jesus says in Matthew 6:11, “Give us today our daily bread”. On the other hand, we are not free to ask for selfish motives. James explains to us clearly that we shouldn’t ask out of greed,
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3)
We can bring all kinds of legitimate needs to God, but we must leave the self-interested ones out of our prayers. When we reflect on our prayers, we must try out best for our petitions to be more of a need than greed. Paul suggests us to understand the meaning of “contentment” (refer to 1Tim 6:6-10).
Essentially, contentment is what takes the greed and selfish gain out. If you are satisfied with what you have on a day to day basis, its more clearer to see the many wonderful things that God has provided for us. Paul encouraged the early church and said,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil 4:6)
This shows us that, not only should we just say “thank you” but we should realize the many riches that God has already bestowed upon us. As we remind ourselves of all the blessings, we will be better at distinguishing “needs and greeds”
2. Seeking Change
Whenever we request God to grant us something, we are actually asking to change certain events of the world. Some of the questions that Pratt asks us is “do we try to change God through prayer? Are our requests intended to compel Him to act in ways He did not already Intend? If God is unchanging, why do we bother to pray at all?”.
To answer some of these two questions, we must look at prayer in two different points. One being that God does not change by our petitions and God does change his actions by our prayers (because prayer is given by God Himself so that we may move Him in action). Unfortunately, a lot of Christians often emphasize just one and don’t put into the account of the other.
We can refer to these verses for reasons why God stands firm in His plans.
Our petitions cannot interrupt Gods plan, which should make us feel comfort and reliability in His sovereignty. On the other hand, why then would God give us prayer? We must grasp to concept of how God uses the “secondary creaturely processes” to work together to accomplish his plans. For instance, God does not just cure somebody from their disease or cancer. He works through doctors and medicines to do so. Even, looking at the Bible, God has wrote every word that led to the end. He didn’t simply just make it all happen (which of course he is capable of doing).
Unfortunately, a lot of Christians believe that prayer is futile. They think that its pointless to pray and all that matters is their action.
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