Monday, February 25, 2008

Desiring God - Prayer

As I continued to prepare for an upcoming DNOW in St. Augustine, I picked up Desiring God again and read the chapter on "prayer" - since prayer is a key component in our communication with God (communication is the DNOW theme).
Of course there was much that was already highlighted and even more that I underlined. Then I turned the page. Piper, as only he can do sometimes, put patience and prayer in a whole new light for me. One that was totally convicting - as I again am in a place of waiting for God to answer some questions...
"To wait! That means to pause and soberly consider our own inadequacy and the Lord's all sufficiency, and to seek counsel and help from the Lord, and to hope in Him. Israel was rebuked that they did not wait for his counsel. Why? Because in not seeking and waiting for God's help, they robbed God of an occasion to glorify Himself. The Lord says to Israel 'In returning and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.' But Israel refused to wait for the Lord and said "No! We will speed our horses" - Is 30.15, 16.
Then in verse 18 the folly and evil of this self-initiated frenzy is revealed -
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
The folly of not waiting for God is that we forfeit the blessing of having God work for us. The evil of not waiting for God is that we oppose God's will to exalt himself in mercy. God aims to exalt himself by working for those who wait for Him. But, is there anything we can give him that won't belittle him to the status of beneficiary? Yes - our anxieties - it is a command. God will gladly receive anything from us that shows our dependence and his all-sufficiency."
How many times have I robbed God, not waited for him, sped my own horses - whatever they might be? Oh, Lord, again, grow in me patience in my prayer life. Knowing that you answer exactly how you have intended and chosen to answer - make my will satisfied with your will.
Then, I kept reading and picked up Catherine Marshall's Adventures in Prayer (an older book I have had for a while and never read):
"Waiting certainly plays an enormous role in the unfolding story of God's relationship to man. It is God's oft-repeated way of teaching us that His power is real and that He can answer our prayers without interference and manipulation from us!" Kim - butt out! :)
Then, kept reading...and kept underlining. This is an amazing book. So convicting - right where I am.
"Always His timing - we force and try to hurry the divine schedule at our peril. God does have his fullness of time for the answer to each prayer. It follow then that He alone knows the magnitude of the changes that have to be wrought un us before we can receive our hearts' desires. He alone knows the changes and interplay of external events that must take place before our prayers can be answered. Thus, the Lord seems sonstantly to use waiting as a tool for bringin us the very best of his gifts."
So, in other words - Kim - keep waiting, don't get impatient. He knows what is best for me!

No comments: