Monday, November 4, 2013

Praying My Way Out

One day last week a friend of mine on Facebook had the following post:


I have to admit, I "liked" it - a lot. My patience seems to be thin; I just don't have much sympathy or patience for the miss use of prayer and the misplacing of blame. Don't get me wrong. I am a huge fan of prayer. It should be where we start, where we live, and where we finish in all things. A first resource and not a last resort.  But here's the rub for me: What about all of those times when I do this or I do that? I think about it and decide it's the right choice. I talk it over with some friends. I do what I am gonna do, get the ball rolling so to speak and then pause and say..."hey God where are ya, why isn't this working out like we had planned?" It makes me crazy when people get mad at God when they find themselves in a place in life that they "chose their self into". Stop blaming God for your poor personal choice.

Well, funny thing. God decided we would just chew on that for awhile. It wasn't fun, at 3am on Saturday morning. Yeah.

It started with the almost audible voice of God saying to me "Without me dear daughter, where would you be?" Honestly - Hell. "And did you behave yourself there?" Honestly - Yep. "And how did you change that?" Shoot - A prayer of confession. "So basically you prayed yourself out of where you had behaved yourself into?"  Yeah God, but that was then and this in now. "And now is it your belief that you are doing it all right all of the time?" Well, what can I say to that.

Just 'cause a girl is saved, doesn't mean that sin isn't gonna try and trip her up. Sometimes we make poor choices that are rooted in sin. We run ahead of God, even with good intentions, and then realize that God seems no place to be found . We might drag our feet and later have to face the truth that delayed obedience is in fact disobedience. We make the willful decision to do, say and think things that are contrary to God's character and we violate our love relationship with Him. Prayer and repentance will deal fully and completely with the eternal consequence of every sin. Divine forgiveness doesn't negate the earthly consequences that may follow - regardless of spiritual repentance. Prayer changes things. Big things and little things. Physical things and eternal things. Emotional things and psychological things. BUT - earthy choices often carry earthly consequences. There are times when we make choices that are not sin at all, but they are not smart choices and they come back to bite us.  Matt and I have made some poor financial decisions in the past, not sin - but not smart.  Pray as we might, we still had to live with the consequence. It doesn't mean God wasn't there and it doesn't mean that God didn't care. Prayer should not be viewed as the cosmic eraser that I can use to "fix" things that I have behaved my way into. Sometimes I just have to learn the hard way - and God still holds my hand.

God - show me the offensives ways in me.
God - lead me in your everlasting.
Let me hold tight to you when my consequences hurt or are hard.

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