Why Does Prayer Seem To Be The Side Dish?

(C Rhodes) #1

I ask this because I often hear people request prayer after they have exhausted other means. Prayer seems to represent the side dish at the dinner table. We do all we can do and when that fails we call upon the Lord. Nothing I have tried works, please pray for me.

In my family, if you say let me pray about it, that is considered a way of brushing off a request. Or a 'nasty-nice way of saying no! Sometimes we see it as a means of offering hope in the face of untenable odds. Do we say this because by then desperation makes us more receptive and less dependant upon our own strength?

I have even offered prayer as a way of closing out a difficult narrative. If prayer is so significant that we offer it as hope. If we read and live as testaments to the power of prayer; why isn’t it the first thing we do instead of the additional thing?

(Tim Ramey) #2

You are right on. I am in the midst of a shake-down in my prayer life. I realize that I’m not really believing Jesus for what I am praying for. I need to find out what is the obstacle when I pray. it is refreshing to hear you wondering why prayer is treated as a side dish. I read a book called Fearless Prayer by Craig Hazen. It was good as he brings up some great points about prayer.

I feel that prayer is the single most important ingredient lacking in the church today.

(SeanO) #3

@cer7 I think that whatever we put our trust in on a daily basis has a massive impact on where our hearts are oriented. If, like Daniel, we regularly turn our hearts to God daily, then our natural response will be to turn to God because He is our rock and fortress. If, on the other hand, we generally manage our own affairs and trust in our own strength unless something goes wrong, then we effectively doubt the efficacy of God and are not trusting in Him. Our hearts are misaligned. Trust in God is something that is cultivated through a consistent, daily placing of ourselves in the hands of God and daily walking in the Spirit.

I think that if a person does not have that daily walk, God is effectively not real to them. Even if they profess with their mouth, their actions demonstrate that their hope lies elsewhere.

(Billie Corbett) #4

You are bang on regarding prayer.
Prayer is the first place we should go …
To praise Him, to confess our sin, to ask for what we need, and to intercede on behalf of others.
Prayer reflects our faith and confidence in God.
It is a humble acknowledgement to ourselves and to God, that we are finite and flawed…
We confess the truth, that He alone is Sovereign ruler over all things.

(C Rhodes) #5

@Tim_Ramey. I am there with you. The Lord continues to challenge my pre-conceptions regarding prayer. I recall when the Lord gave me my first home. I had been turned down for the loan. It was a Friday. But Saturday morning I heard clearly, “keep packing.” That made me cry. It felt like the Lord was messing with me. I said aloud, “pack to go where I have no home to go to!” The Lord replied, “since I am the one giving it to you, what difference does it make. Keep packing!” I cried all weekend, but I packed while I cried. That Monday morning at work, I was told there was a call for me on a co-worker’s extension. It was the mortgage broker she said, “how would you like to close on a house!” We both begin to scream into the phone. By Friday evening of that same week, I held the keys to a five bedroom two bath house. You would think by now I would know better. But our culture rewards the bootstrap mentality. Often such emphasis on self-sufficiency has us going through pointless gyrations and efforts.

So @SeanO, I find I must remain deliberate to involve prayer in all facets of my world. Whether physical healing, help to find a missing item or helping others. I am learning that all aspects of my living can be entrusted to the Lord. You are so right, where my heart is so my treasure will be.

And @Billie you are too true. Everything to GOD in prayer. Oh, what needless pain I bear all because I do not carry everything to GOD in prayer. Prayer the secret weapon of warfare. Prayer wonderous communion with my Creator. I am honored to be one of His children.

(Tabitha Gallman) #6

Good morning @cer7. I happened across this article yesterday:
I have been torn about my church situation and I really was wondering how to pray for my church family and I have been paying attention to Colossians (that’s what we are memorizing in the Bible memorization group) and how Paul prays for the church. This phrase caught my attention in the article: “pray for the process not the result”. I actually wrote out Paul’s prayer to the people of Colossae and changed the perspective from me to God praying for my family/friends in the church. Even though I didn’t close my eyes and recite completely from memory, it was a more heart-felt prayer with more meaning than the way I was praying before. I won’t pray this way all the time, but it opened my eyes to things I should be praying for.

Love you Sister and I will remember you when I pray :grinning:

(Billie Corbett) #7

I have many, many stories of God’s faithful gracious answers to prayer. Many of which have been surprising to me, even though I earnestly sought the LORD to show up. When He does, like Peter in jail and the angel delivering him…we can be slow to understand God is intervening.
I have wonderful story fo illustrate this very thing…similar to God working to provide your home.
After this experience, I wrote it out and sent it to my children…as a testimony but, also, to direct them to be mindful of calling on the Lord, always! I am going to just cut and paste my letter…to make it easier.

“Hello my dear daughters,

I am writing this to share a small miracle which happened to me last week. My intention in sharing it is to encourage you to trust God to work miracles in your lives. Small or large!

Last Tuesday morning, I woke up and for some reason I looked at my wedding/engagement ring….to my shock and dismay there was no diamond in it. I had no clue when it might have fallen out. The first thing I did was search the bed…which then led to a search of just about every place I could think of in the house. I searched the car. Brian emptied the vacuum cleaner and carefully sifted through the contents. Of course, no diamond.

The impossibility and unlikelihood of finding it began to sink in. Definitely, it was a situation which referenced the proverbial “trying to find a needle in a haystack”! ( It would be nice if I knew which haystack to look in! )

I had been at church Sunday night and all morning on Monday. So, I asked if someone could look around the areas I had been. Of course, no diamond. Humm…very disappointing.

We called the insurance company. Well…blah, blah, blah, blah…”They would need an estimate on the cost of replacing it.” And of course…a big chunk of change as the deductible. More whhhhaaaa!!! going on inside me. ( Thankfully, Brian wasn’t berating about it all…just indicated it was a major bummer.) It’s never a convenient time to fork out money for something you had already purchased.

Okay…well…let me see…I made meatballs on Sunday night…we hadn’t started to eat them. Maybe the diamond went into the meatballs? Huummmm… We will be eating those very delicately!!! Meanwhile, I’m thinking how many diamonds go down the drain…or down the crapper…or out in the trash?

Later the same day, I drive out to Sechelt to get an estimate. The jeweller examined the ring. Says, “Interesting. This setting is one of the most secure settings.” I say, “Any idea why it came out then.” He says “Well, looks like there are some gouges in the casing. I will get an estimate and I will need to talk to the insurance company.”

Something in the way he said this made me feel like he was thinking I’d dug the diamond out and was trying to get another through the insurance company. Not a very pleasant feeling. I left feeling full of shame for something I wasn’t guilty of, as well as, feeling bad for the loss of the diamond. Now I started to worry about what it might cost to replace it…if the insurance people decided I was trying to scam them.

On my way home, I started to talk with God about my feelings…saying “You know I didn’t do anything wrong.” I started telling Him how bad I felt about losing the diamond…I expressed the impossibility of finding something so small…especially when I had no clue where it had fallen out. I talked to God about the fact that I felt guilty even praying to Him about something so “material”… saying….”I know…this is the stuff the world values greatly…but, it doesn’t have the same value to you, God.” “Yet, I am living in this material world …where these things do have value”…but, I don’t want it to have too much importance”….so on…. And so on…

Bottom line…I just said, “ God…I don’t have a clue where I lost it…I don’t know where to look. I don’t know if it is possible for it to be found.” “You know where it is, God…If it is possible to find it, lead me to where it is.” “I know it’s not impossible to you.”

I drove home. Came in the house. I had stuff to do…like heat up the meatballs and make rice. In the back of my mind…I was thinking “when you get a moment…check here…check there…you haven’t looked there yet.”

For some reason, I felt led into the living room and I sat down on the couch. In my mind, I heard “…look in that basket.” (I have two sea grass baskets under the coffee table.) I said back…in my mind… “I’ve looked in there.”
In my mind, I heard… “I know…but, you didn’t take every out of the basket. Look again, by taking everything out.” So, I answered skeptically, …”Okay…I will take everything out of the basket.”

So…I take everything out of the basket and…??? …I see a tiny little glint. I said…in my mind…in amazed disbelief… “No!? Really?” I’m afraid to believe that I actually saw that teensy, weeny glint! Could it really be? Almost with a chuckle, I heard, in my mind… “ Yup! Really!!”

I looked down in a crevice made by the woven sea grass and there it was…my diamond! Needless, to say I was amazed and overjoyed. I felt totally blown away by finding the diamond (which was really quite an impossibility)…but, I was also blown away by this experience of God leading me directly to it. He who knew exactly where it was. Even though, I felt bad about praying over something so worthless in He eyes…He honoured my faith and trust in Him. (I’d prayed He would lead me to it not more than 20 minutes before.)

After, I had shared my excitement with a few people who knew I had lost it(…like my sister…and the people who had looked at the church), there was another whisper in my mind. “I’m happy you trusted me.” “I’m glad you’ve had this undeniable, real experience of me intervening within an impossible circumstance.” “It’s a good thing!” “But, there is something spiritual to be learned from this experience beyond your experience of me.” ” This is an object lesson.” “Don’t forget… how much I care about lost souls.” “ They are precious and valuable to me.” “I will keep seeking them…until they are found…and returned to me.” “ I feel great joy when they are found and restored.”

I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you. I love you. More importantly…God loves you.

Put your trust in Him.

Jesus said…

“Ask and it shall be given…
Seek and you shall find.
Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.”

I have found this to be true over and over again. If you doubt or feel sceptical…take even that to Him. He won’t shame you. He can handle your doubts.

In exchange, He will give you faith.

Love, Mom

(C Rhodes) #9

@tabby69. Hey Ms. Tabitha! This is one of the areas in which I am still in a learning curve. How to pray GOD’s will for others. At least your heart remains united in love for the members of your Church family. I still war against the impulse to run away from conflict and especially un-prayerfulness. I honestly am not sure how to pray the will of the Lord in another person’s life. But I am uncomfortable telling the Lord what should be done to remedy the problem. So, my prayers are that we both will be given an understanding of the proper path to walk or word to say. That our hearts will be equipped to stand and wait in the assurance of an answer from the Lord. People belong to GOD. I want to always pray with respect to that ownership. And I want to pray before I act or while I act if necessary.

Thank you for the article. I agree the process is as important as the results. It is in the process that I receive my understanding. It is in the process that I see what GOD wishes to show me and tell me. Thank you, I happily covet your prayers and promise my prayerful considerations for you. I will trust the Lord with you we know He is more than able.

(C Rhodes) #10

@Billie. So much of what you shared with your daughters mirrors many situations I have encountered. So your story was both wonderful and side-splitting funny. :rofl: I have torn up my home searching for an item. Until I remember what an Aunt said to me one day. “If you are willing to trust GOD for the big obstacles in life, doesn’t it make sense to trust Him for the small things as well?”

Thank you for sharing such a rich experience.