Monday, October 13, 2014

Are you praying for or against yourself?

In my sermon yesterday I used an example from the life of George Muller. For those who don't know who George Muller was, he ran five orphanages and cared for thousands of orphans in England during the 1800s. The interesting thing about Mr. Muller is that he never sought out financial support from anyone. He made his requests known to God (Philippians 4:6) and watched as God provided everything that was needed. The stories of God's provision are more than remarkable. Google him to read some of the stories for yourself. Muller's life was a constant reliance on God for provision. One challenging thing that I read during my preparation for that message and to use Muller's example was how Muller approached God. He didn't pray out of duty or out of some since or responsibility to pray a particular way. Muller prayed with an explicit expectation that God would answer his prayers. He made his requests to God and waited knowing God would provide what was needed.

I haven't been able to shake what I read. I couldn't help but consider whether at times we as Christians are praying for ourselves or against ourselves. I wonder how many of us pray against ourselves by praying out of habit or a sense of Christian duty, rather than praying for ourselves so we develop our relationship with the One who loves us. How often do we pray without any real expectation that God will answer our prayers? Do we pray and ask the "right" things because we know that is what God wants us to say? Or do we pour our hearts out and show God the vulnerable places in our life that no one else sees? Do we ask with a sense of urgency and a real desire to see the heart and hand of God be moved by our requests? My hope for each of us who trust in Christ is that we do not take our prayers for granted. I hope we see our prayers for what they are. A time in which we can ask the God of the Universe to move in our lives, so long as His will is satisfied. A time of expectation knowing that God hears our prayers and will respond. A time of praying for ourselves and not against ourselves.

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