Thursday, May 18, 2006
Does Prayer Help? (Part II)  

There is a well-known phrase that "the devil is in the details" which captures the idea that it is the small things that can cause failure. Through experience, I have learned that this phrase is poorly worded. It is not the devil, but God who is in the details because He is interested in all of the details of life, and in particular, He is interested in all the particulars of each person's life. Nothing is too small or insignificant that He does not care about the impact it has upon the life of one of His creatures. Jesus told us that God the Father is concerned about even the sparrow, how much more is He concerned about His children (Mt. 10:28-31).

The problem we have is that it is easier for us, in order to keep God at a distance, to ignore His loving concern for our lives. It is pride which masks itself as humility that claims that God would not be interested in me. Of course, He is interested in you and me. He created us and He longs to have a relationship with us. He is constantly seeking to get our attention, but we ignore Him by dismissing His attempts to talk to us. It is not just the two-by-four over the head incidents either. It is the simple mundane details of life where God is found. The busy signal when you must make the call. The parking spot that cannot be found. The friend who calls you "out of the blue". The child who wants to be picked up and held. In all of these God is acting and He wants us to respond in love.

I had no idea about this type of concept of a relationship with God because growing up, I was not taught that God acted in this way. However, if I had stopped to think about it, I might have asked myself why God would not be interested in all of the details of my life? He knows about everything and He knows each one of us perfectly. In addition, He is working to use everything to draw you and me to Himself. That is why it is incredible to hear people claim that God would not care what kind of car you buy or where you live. Consequently, one should not bother Him with such trivial prayers such as whether you should eat this or that for lunch. Figure it out for yourself because you are only bothering Him if you have to ask. What nonsense! If my daily bread, not to mention every breath comes from God, why would it be foolish to ask Him what He would have me do in the multitude of decisions I need to make each day. Better yet, thank Him for all of these things and the guidance He gives to help us follow Him.

This is one reason why prayer works. The perseverance in prayer reminds me that I am a child of God who is completely dependent upon Him. With each prayer I am in some way large or small acknowledging that He is God and I am not and that I need Him to show me the way. From my own experience, I know that when I at least begin to have that perspective, I live my life in a much more fulfilling way. The same problems and difficulties might be there, but I am able to face them with God rather than off on my own with some vague hope that somehow I will muddle through. The world becomes ordered correctly with God as the center and my life lived in and through Him.

If we consider the life of Christ, we know that He perfectly fulfilled His Father's will. Everything about His life on earth was in perfect conformity with His mission. That perfection inclued even the small details such as knowing whom He should first encounter in a certain town. Or His perfection also meant that He should make mud with His spittle to put on the eyes of a blind man in order that he might wash and have his eyesight restored. All of His actions were meaningful even if they seemed insignificant. This is truly God in the details. He wants us to follow Him with the same radical concern for the everyday details.

Prayer works because it is the way to ask Him what it is He wants me to do even in the smallest incident of my life. The key is for me to ask and then to be open to His response whatever it might be. My experience is that He will respond. My response should be to trust Him by accepting His reply.

Posted by David at 11:59 PM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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