Mark Anderson


Posted by Mark Anderson Oct 24, 2013

I have long struggled with prayer...


I grew up in a Christian tradition that memorized a series of prayers word for word and then regularly recited through them.  In my college years (at MSOE, by the way) I moved away from this.  One reason was that I didn't think that God was answering my prayers.  On the other hand, I was challenged with the idea that prayer is supposed to be a dialogue with God.  Rather than reciting prayer, I fell into a repetition of petition.  I was much freer in my prayer life, but I seemed to be asking for the same things over and over.  Also, my "dialogue" with God was basically a monologue with me doing all of the talking...


I recently read the first chapter of the Gospel according to Luke where the birth of John the Baptist is recounted.  John's parents, Zachariah and Elizabeth, were godly, old and childless.  Zachariah had an encounter in which the angel of God said to him that his prayers had been answered and that they would yet give birth to a son.  To this Zachariah responded: "Do you expect me to believe this?" (Luke 1:18 The Message)  Apparently, Zachariah had been praying for a child and likely at some point had given up. 


There is another similar account in the book of Genesis 12-21.  This is the story of Abraham.  He and his wife Sarah were also godly, old and childless.  Abraham had also been asking God for a child.  The striking difference, however, is that, in the account of Abraham, God gave Abraham a promise that he would have a child.  This promise was repeated time after time to encourage Abraham and Sarah as they ended up waiting 25 years for the promised son to be born!


It seems that Abraham's prayer life was much more of a dialogue than that of Zachariah.  Abraham brought his struggles to God and God met him in the struggles.  Zachariah asked, but for whatever reason, does not seem to have heard the similar promise from God.  The great thing is that God heard both of them and gave a perfect answer at just the right time! 


But...I want to be one hearing His voice all along...



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