I am in America at the moment travelling between states. Meeting different beautiful people, who love God, meeting needy people, desperate for love and food, and meeting beautiful young people man and woman sacrifice everything to find their purpose to serve the Lord. Just 6 years ago the idea of me serving people or working as a social works is utterly ludicrous.
In the last 5 years since I gave my life to Him God has been showing me, through my self-awareness, my sub-conscious weakness and uncontrollable hidden behavior, bit by bit and give it up to him to change, because I can’t change it on my own. One part of me want to glorify Him, but He is, also slowly but sure, revealing something confronting inside my self.
I’ve been praying lot for my spouse, few relationships just didn’t work out in the past. I said to the Lord, lord I will trust you with this ( easier said than done).
One day I read a chapter from the Gospel of Luke, it is on chapter 18 :10-13
New International Version (NIV)
10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
Now, I don’t know about you, but who are you easily to identify with between these people on the scripture? I will easily say I am the later one, well most of the time. But, as I keep on looking on what God want me to do in my life, I see how my behavior, my petitions of prayers and my sub-conscious motivations is to go to the former one. How come?
God is slowly revealing to me, that the fear and hurt from the relationships in the past drives some part of me to please Him then asking the rewards for Him as a direct result of the service that I am done, and likely then when His will is different with what I wish, I will come with lot of expressions.
The (my) expressions are like
” Lord why it is always ending up like this…”
“Lord I will take a risk, help me to do this (do my plan Lord please)
“Lord Jesus I think she just doesn’t care anymore and just feeling uncomfortable”
“Lord forgive me, I think I don’t deserve to get her.. (Who says?)
Now I am the former one, I am the Pharisees who boast up about what he has done and, in my case, ask for reward.
I think, in Matthew 6:30, Jesus never said
“Seek first the Kingdom and it’s righteousness, and ask and it will be given to you”
Or perhaps the other clearer remarks Jesus gave
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (of faith).”
Prayer of faith, is prayer of what Murraysays
“The power to believe a promise depends entirely, [and] only, on faith in the promiser” (Murray, Prayer)
or as Richard Foster put it (in paraphrase) that our prayer is prayer of asking of something according to God’s will, we know what God’s will is, we surrender to it, and we ask that.