Monday, October 15, 2007

Big Question for a Monday

So I'm sitting in church yesterday and I felt like God asked, "So Trish...what would life be like for you if you were sure that all this stuff you're praying for--things you hope will happen, people you love who need help, world events that seem insurmountable--was taken care of? If you knew for sure that I ANSWER your prayers?"

I was a little stunned, and not sure how to respond. I've often thought of how much more fun my early adulthood would have been if I'd just TRUSTED that God was bringing me a husband (the lack of which was the biggest hope/need/world catastrophe I could think of at that time). But what about now?

So that's my challenge this pray the prayers for the things that seem like they need God's help (which for me is pretty much everything from getting a decent parking place--this is Boston, after all--to miraculous healing for my friend's daughter) and then live as if I know God will do it.

Yesterday, this new attitude involved taking a two hour nap on the couch while watching the Redskins/Packers game. God says to rest on Sundays and let him do the heavy lifting; the least I can do is comply :)

How about you? What would life be like if you KNEW God heard and was answering your prayers, even the secret ones deep down inside that you don't even dare to mumble because they're so preposterous? How would that change how you live right now?


Patti said...

i hope you are sitting down. last night as i prayed my prayers i had a thought: why not pray as if i know that God has my back, and instead of this petition why not pray the prayer of the thankful?

so i did.

instead of: um, hey god it's me, and i know you are really busy, but could you.....?

i did this: dear wonderful father who loves me more deeply and who cares for me more than i could care for my own children, thank you for hearing me and for responding to my prayer. i thank you for....(reverse prayer here as if prayer has already been answered)

i have to say it felt like an exercise in oddness at first, but then, as my prayers progressed it felt natural because when i thought about it, when had God let me down in my needs? never.

when i read your post it made me smile. apparently God had something on his mind yesterday for more than one of us!

(funny note: the word identification scramble to comment read: suvgod)

Stephanie said...

Oh Trish, I don't know how I could ever have that trust. (Literally I am sitting here in Cubicle Land crying as I type this. Thank goodness Italian Prince and Pencil Head are still in Prague...)

(looks down to her shoes)

Don't even know if I know how to have that trust. Or to even trust the more basic thing--that God exists.

LEstes65 said...

Oh I tell you, this speaks to me. I find it interesting that in the HUGE life-altering crisis, I am able to press into God and just know that he'll bring me through the darkness. But in the smaller issues, I worry and worry. I think in my great crisis, it's a survival mechanism. I HAVE to give it over to God or I'll implode.

But since meeting you and my wonderful Alpha group in 2005, I have prayed differently. With much more trust. And much more expectation. I am a huge believer in "Pray Big!"

Probably the big miracle I need to pray for now is for God to get me to stop taking the worry back!!

L Sass said...

As someone who spent all morning getting an ulcer because I'm having trouble scanning my undergraduate transcripts... this was a perfectly timed post.

I think it's obvious that I would stop sweating the small things that go wrong--or even just go late. I know that I can't control everything, so why do I try so darn hard?

Jenny said...

I was just talking about this with a friend the other night. We decided if we knew everything that was or wasn't going to happen, life wouldn't be too fun, even though it's agonizing at times wondering how things will work out.

Kristen said...

I like your Sabbath activities (or lack thereof)! :-)

Your question is really interesting. I KNOW in my heart that God hears my prayers, even the ones I've never uttered. And that is such a wonderful feeling. (Although I do think that actually asking them matters, too. In the Bible, so many people almost pestered God to get what they wanted or to change his mind!)

As far as answering them, though, that's more difficult. I believe that he does answer me - and he has!, but also that he knows best, so when my prayers aren't answered the way I wanted them to be, I try to trust in his plan - even when it makes NO sense at all to me.

But, I guess if I absolutely knew that my prayers would be answered, I'd be much more thoughtful and careful about what I asked for! Not that I wouldn't still pray about the little things, but I'd definitely pray that he'd guide my prayers so that I'd ask for the right things/events/etc. that fit into his plan for me and my loved ones.

ellesappelle said...

I think if I fully trusted that God would listen and answer my prayers -
1) I'd actually pray a lot!
2) I'd be a lot bolder about my faith in general.

I've been studying the Holy Spirit lately as Number One Issue That I Want To Figure Out. Prayer is next on the list.

The Dream said...

Hi Trish-
I wouldn't change a thing - for myself. I'm exactly where I need to be - no matter how tough life can get.
You're absolutely right - God DOES rock!
After being the champion of saying selfish prayers for years and then getting down on God when my prayers were not answered, I entered into a new groove with my HP. My Faith is the #1 priority in my life ... so after saying THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU every morning, I pray for my Faith.
And when I feel like running the show in my prayers, I acknowledge it immediately and say, "OK, here I am in all my human-ness" ... then say the prayer, and always end with Thy Will, Not Mine Be Done.
It is a good thing that the prayers of my younger years did NOT go my way.

Jane said...

Wonderful post Trish! I've been doing quite a bit of praying lately: for my health, for my son, for new fulfilling artistic opportunities, for a new house when my kids and I move.....lots and lots of things. But the interesting thing is that I find these "things" to be more of a wishlist because only God knows if he's got these "things" in his plan for me. So, most of the time I simply pray that I embrace and learn from whatever it is that he has in store.

Beck said...

That's a huge question. I thought about it last night and I'm STILL thinking about it now. I don't know!

Beck said...

That's a huge question. I thought about it last night and I'm STILL thinking about it now. I don't know!

Angela WD said...

What a great thought to share with us, Trish! I have had an experience or two when God has immediately answered a prayer, but I sure don't live like I have that assurance every day.

When I'm feeling particularly bold, I do thank him in advance for answering my prayers. Then I proceed directly to doubt. Aw, faith is a hard thing.

Anonymous said...

Peace, peaceful. That's how I'd live... much more so than I am today. I NEED to get back to trusting that God is working for the good of those who love Him... sometimes so many ugly things pop up in life. So instead of trusting Him with the faith I had all my life up until now, I've recently found myself yelling "are you THERE God, do you hear my prayers, or not!?"