Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thoughts on One's "Prayer Life"

Who said that God answers all prayers and petitions? Not the Bible, apparently:

Proverbs 28.9: «He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination.»

1 Peter 3.7: «Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.»

1 Peter 3.12: «For the eyes of the Lord [are] over the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord [is] against them that do evil.»

Maybe now we know why unbelievers sometimes claim to have unanswered prayers of theirs as a justification of unbelief. Of course, in the meantime and in the midst of this there is this thing called “persistence” which is relevant to the question of answered or unanswered prayers. Luke 18.1-8:

1 And he spake a parable unto them [to this end], that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

And why should anyone persist in asking? Indeed, it’s difficult to see why anyone should persist if his prayer in this case merely amounts to a gamble, roll of the dice, or last-ditch Hail Mary effort to get what he wants--not an act born of faith to any degree but a mere gamble. However, if the person who prays does so with a foregoing knowledge of God’s goodness, mercifulness, compassion, sovereignty, providence and (I suppose one could say) thinking-three-steps-ahead sort of wisdom--such a person has a solid basis for faith in God, perhaps even a faith that moves mountains.

Yes, more could be said on this subject.

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