Staying calm as we continue to pray
By Bill Holland
Do you believe that God intervenes in the affairs of mankind or do you consider the philosophy where He stands back and calmly watches everything happen? I admit that sometimes it seems like He chooses to not be involved but there are many Bible passages that reveals His desire to help us. Some believe that the Creator allows each person to control their own destiny and the deciding factor in every event is associated with man’s deliberate decisions. This concept places mankind as the pilot and captain of his own fate and reduces the need to depend on God. Others embrace the idea that God is always available and eager to respond to our prayers. I’m persuaded that God gives every person a free will to choose, but this does not mean we are alone and drifting on the sea of random chance. May we also include that what God allows to happen is not the same things as what He wants to happen. There are several variations of these worldviews but in general, followers of Christ understand and accept that Jesus went to the cross to redeem and restore fellowship between God and mankind with the intention of becoming a personal Lord and Savior to those who believe. When we accept Christ, we are compelled to yield our will to Him, and allow Him to govern our destiny. If your prayer life is like fighting a battle you are perfectly normal, as it’s exceedingly difficult to ask for a miracle from someone we cannot see. Unfortunately, we humans tend to spend our time trying to figure things out on our own. It seems that men especially feel compelled to use their savvy to fix everything and manage every problem because they are convinced it’s their responsibility to lead and provide. Human nature automatically uses intelligence and logic to find a solution even if it means settling for less and being wrong. I’ve personally seen individuals throughout their life always grab the bull by the horns and attempt to force their troubles into submission instead of trusting God to take care of it. What the follower of Christ can consider in every circumstance is that it’s better to have the Lord as our highest priority as we invite Him to intervene and lead us in the way He wants us to go. There is no shame or embarrassment to admit that we are unable carry our burdens and that we desperately need God to help us every moment. He perfectly realizes we are limited in power, which is why Paul proclaims that God can be strong in our weakness if we will just allow Him to be. “But He said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” — II Corinthians 12:9. Since God knows what He wants for us, it makes sense that we would pray according to His plans. However, the only way we can join together with His vision and desire is to be able to hear His voice. Yes, it’s true we have questions about prayer, like how do we know if we praying His will or our own imaginations and if having more faith means we are more likely to receive our request? This is why many pray as Jesus prayed, “Not my will but thy will be done.” Do you believe there are weak prayers and strong prayers? Well, just because people speak loudly or pray for long periods of time does not necessarily mean God listens to them anymore than someone else whose prayers are quiet and short. So, what makes the difference? Maybe instead of different styles of prayer, it’s simply a matter of how strong is our faith? Matthew 17:20 reminds us that if anyone has even the tiniest amount of faith they can move mountains, as with God all things are possible. By the way, do you believe elections are decided by prayer or God’s decision? Since elections were Nov. 3, we know there are going to be many voters who will be glad and others who will be sad. Whatever the case, God’s people are fervently praying that a calm will cover the land and that He will pour out His peace upon this nation.