Dilemmas in prayer

This morning one of the devotionals we listened to was on Jesus teaching persistence in prayer through the parable of the widow pestering the stubborn, unjust judge (Luke 18). I responded by asking the Lord again for healing, restoration, recovery from the brokenness of the stroke that came over a year ago.

Later in the morning I told the Lord I didn’t mean to be “double minded.” I knew I was asking for a healing that would only be temporary. I will die eventually and old age is normally filled with weakness and failing health.

Then I pointed out to Jesus that ALL the healings he did in the Bible were temporary. Those people eventually died. But Jesus healed them in the meantime.

One of the great meditations I read from Bishop John Howe pondered why Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. Was it because Jesus knew he was calling Lazarus back from Heaven to suffer awhile longer with the usual pains of earthly life?

I remembered again how Jesus was blunt in his prayers at Gethsemane. “I don’t like this and You could change things for me,” he told his Father. And then he added, “Nevertheless, Thy will be done.” He went back and forth like that three times.

So have I. Except I find myself, out of discipline, starting with “Thy will be done” and then adding on my personal list. The things I realize are only temporary, for this life. But, honestly, Lord, I want to be healed. I think – I hope – healing me would glorify You. But I recognize that’s not my first reason for asking.

You did say we should ask. So I do. You told us what we should ask for first. So I do.

My discomfort in part is that I’m still waiting for You to answer. At least, to answer the way I want.

Our personal prayer list of friends who need healing more seriously than I do is longer than ever. And the news is full of the Muslim massacre in Paris. The world is full of pain.

Today, Henry Blackaby’s devotional included this:

Trust in the character of God. It is His nature to be faithful. The testimony of His people throughout the ages is expressed by the psalmist, who declared: “I have been young, and now I am old; / Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, / Nor his descendants begging bread” (Ps. 37:25)… No one has ever experienced unfaithfulness on God’s part! Allow time for God to reveal His faithfulness to you. Someday you will reflect on what God has done and praise Him for His absolute faithfulness to you.

Melanie and I both copied it to our Facebook pages.

“Allow God time…” And meanwhile I ask, seek, knock with my requests in hand. Hear our prayers, Lord.

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About Deacon Rick

I am a retired Deacon in Lakeland Florida.
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4 Responses to Dilemmas in prayer

  1. Reblogged this on Knowlton S. Schildknecht and commented:
    Praying for Deacon Rick’s healing. The following blog entry is so very “real” to many of us–not always knowing how to parse “our own will” from his divine will. I certainly experience this dilemma daily as I seek to make myself available for the purposes of his kingdom AND, too, submitting my personal petitions. May we trust in him unwaveringly and have patience in wait while his plan sometimes unfolds…slowly.

  2. lucy sands says:

    Dear Rick, THank you so much for these thoughts of yours expressed so honestly. From what I read that your Mom wrote in her email, you are making some progress in being able to swallow a little.  May this continue in your progress to being healed.  Your trust and faithfulness to Jesus is inspirational for me.               Love, Aunt Lucy  

  3. Ed Headington says:

    I can only add “amen” Rick. – Ed

  4. Patrick B Kelly says:

    Rick, you enrich our lives with your blog. God Bless you.

    Pat and Georgianna Kelly Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2015 16:22:13 +0000 To: gpkelly2@msn.com

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