My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you feel helpless sometimes to bring the changes needed to make your life better? Or do you find yourself personally and helplessly outclassed by life? Ever feel you’re entirely without ability to cope let alone do anything?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
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There was a recent and urgent need in my life that required changes. Unfortunately, I felt helpless to bring those changes to bear myself as I found myself personally and helplessly outclassed by my own life. Ever feel that way? Something happens and you’re entirely without ability to cope, let alone do? I’m guessing that most of us have been there at one time or another. In my case it was a severe case of personal dis-ability coupled with roadblocks and outright dead ends. This was a problem that was dropped on me, a load of stress and concern that wasn’t going anywhere. I just had to handle it the best that I could and hope for an outcome that solved the problem. I prayed about it, but found the words difficult since not only the answers to the problem seemed vague, I really didn’t even know the right questions to ask. I sought solutions and God provided them, but not as I had envisioned. He gave me a path and told me to walk it. Solutions were at path’s end, but I had to do the walking and by his wisdom and grace figure out what to do with these in the end.
When Jesus’s disciples asked him “Teach us to pray” they didn’t know the right questions either. Jesus responded with a prayer outline we call the prayer of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Here’s the question, however. Was the purpose of the prayer to influence God to change, or was it to change us to deal in a godly way with what needed to be changed about us?
Here’s a story. “James Gilmour, a missionary to Mongolia, was once asked to treat some wounded soldiers. Although he was not a doctor, he did have some knowledge of first aid, so he felt he could not refuse the request. He dressed the wounds of two of the men, but a third had a badly broken thigh bone. The missionary had no idea what to do for such an injury. Kneeling beside the man, he asked the Lord for help. . . To complicate matters, a crowd of beggars came to him asking for money. He was deeply concerned about his patient, yet his heart went out to those ragged paupers. . . he stared in amazement at one weary beggar . . . The half-starved fellow was little more than a living skeleton. The missionary suddenly realized that the Lord had brought him a walking lesson in anatomy! He asked the elderly man if he might examine him. After carefully tracing the femur bone with his fingers to learn how to treat the soldier's broken leg, he returned to the patient and was able to set the fracture. Years afterward, Gilmour often related how God had provided him with a strange yet sufficient response to his earnest prayer. When we raise our petitions, we too can be certain that the Lord will help us -- even though the answer comes by way of those who ‘have no power.’” (Our Daily Bread.)
Jesus gave us “his” prayer not so that his disciples or us could get things or make things happen. That isn’t the purpose of invoking “Our Father in Heaven.” Think about it; if a person doesn’t pray at all for his entire life, it is still quite likely that he will get things and make things happen without God’s help. As that beggar was the answer to Gilmour’s prayer, so it was with my prayer and your’s as well. A path is usually opened along which the solutions may lie if only we’re amendable to following the Holy Spirit’s lead and walking down it. Prayer ordinarily doesn’t change things, it changes us and we make the changes God deems necessary by grace to correct the problem. Remember, God has no hands–he uses ours.
We pray (a prayer from an unknown source:) “Lord, I renounce my desire for human praise, for the approval of my peers, the need for public recognition. I deliberately put these aside today, content to hear you whisper, ‘Well done, my faithful servant.’” Amen (Source Unknown). In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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