Tuesday, July 17, 2012

All Too Superstitious - A Heart Lke His

Today's Bible study from David 90 Days With  Heart Like His is timely or me.  I will admit that I have prayed or earthly rewards like a spouse or a new job.  I need to be more conscious about the purpose of my prayers.  It is OK to tell God how much I need him.  It's OK to tell God that I feel like I'm in a situation that I can' handle on my own and communicate that I need him.
When the ark of the covenant of the Lord entered the camp all the Israelites raised such a loud shout that the ground shook.  (1 Samuel 4:5)

In what ways do we well-meaning Christians, sometimes use our faith like a good-luck charm, thinking that if we handle it just right, it will grant our wishes?

It’s easy to fall into the promise that God will grant our prayers if we just pray in faith.  We want to believe that you will receive everything you ask for if we pray long enough or loudly enough. But God does require something on our part: obedience.

When our prayers are for self-centered purposes, we are not praying the way Christ taught us to pray. We are not praying in God's will; we are only seeking what we want, what we think is best.

It is important that we pray with a penitent and obedient heart, not a list of demands for our personal riches and happiness.  God is not some supernatural Santa Claus, just waiting for us to present Him with our "wish list.” Throughout the Bible God makes it clear that obedience is the key to receiving God's blessings.   

 What’s the real danger in this?  How have you seen this cause other people’s expectations of God (or perhaps even your own expectations of Him) to stray from biblical truths?

The real danger is that He will not hear or answer our prayer. God will not be mocked. He wants His children to draw near to Him in prayer, but we have to do it His way, not ours.
The prosperity philosophy leads people’s expectations of God to stray from biblical truths.  Instead of seeing Him to be GOD, they try to make Him into a fairy godmother who seeks to grant our every wish.  We need to acknowledge that we have access to God because of his grace through his Son, not because we deserve it. Our relationship with him, our ability to pray and have God hear us, is completely dependent on God’s mercy and love.

A balanced prayer life includes praise, thanksgiving, listening, and confession; it is NOT sending God a to-do list. God will NOT always make things go your way. God is more interested in changing us to be a reflection of Christ than He is with solving all of our problems. 

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