When someone asks me for prayers for them, sometimes I wonder what the point is. If God is going to make the world go round with His purpose, and everything happens for reasons only He knows, why would He change His mind because of my meek prayers? This is why I sometimes feel funny about asking people for prayers. A lot of times when something’s big enough in my life that I seek outside help in pleading with God, I still feel foolish. God put those things in my path for a reason. He will remedy them (if that’s His will), when the time is right. And asking Him for acceptance of such tasks? I know in my heart that He will grant that also when timing is right. Sometimes He just wants me to struggle. The questions I have regarding faith? Part of a bigger picture than I can grasp my mind around.
So what’s the point of prayer? I came to a faithless conclusion recently that prayer is more for our needs than God’s ears. Maybe we are praying to work things out inside of ourselves, to kind of brainwash ourselves into working things out on our own. Kind of hopeless, huh? Where does that leave our need for God? If God doesn’t hear our prayers, and just does things on His own basis, how can we have a trusting relationship with Him?
And then there’s the opposite side of the spectrum: freewill. God allows us to choose our own way, our own paths, to even sin freely. Consequences happen with every action, but we are in control of how those play out by what we choose to do with each choice. Where’s God in this? Can we truly say that we are 100% absolutely in control of our lives? Yet again, this extreme leaves little room for a relationship with God.
A friendly blogger explained things to me in a different way. Both ways are true, our job is to land somewhere in the middle. Tony pointed out that though complex, God is not bound by time and sees all things at once. And yes, it still seems confusing. But he then added a visual that gave me a simpler way to think about it:
“It’s like if I have my foot in a pond and some fish see it and freak out. To them, all they know is that I am in the pond. However, from my view I am both in the pond and outside of it. Suddenly I pull my foot out… did the fish stirring around my toe tickle me into doing it or did I simply decide to pull my foot out?
That’s the real question of prayer.”
I still need to reflect on this. I do pray all the time, but I’ve been trying to focus less on asking, and more on worshipping through prayer. I figured that even though God might be too big to hear my requests, at least I can thank Him for all He’s blessed me with. And while this explanation that Tony gave me actually explains that God is NOT too big to help us when we ask, I also realize that maybe I need to give grace rather than asking for it.