Study Notes: A change in prayer

I have been changing my prayer style lately, which I’m going to talk about in a sec.  First, these were part of my devotional reading for the day, and I’ve bolded what hit me between the eyes.

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

Psalm 55

Prayer for the Destruction of the Treacherous. For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.

1 Give ear to my prayer, O God;
And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
2 Give heed to me and answer me;
I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted,
3 Because of the voice of the enemy,
Because of the pressure of the wicked;
For they bring down trouble upon me
And in anger they bear a grudge against me.

4 My heart is in anguish within me,
And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5 Fear and trembling come upon me,
And horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 “Behold, I would wander far away,
I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah.
8 “I would hasten to my place of refuge
From the stormy wind and tempest.”

9 Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues,
For I have seen violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around her upon her walls,
And iniquity and mischief are in her midst.
11 Destruction is in her midst;
Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets.

12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me,
Then I could bear it;
Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me,
Then I could hide myself from him.
13 But it is you, a man my equal,
My companion and my familiar friend;
14 We who had sweet fellowship together
Walked in the house of God in the throng.
15 Let death come deceitfully upon them;
Let them go down alive to Sheol,
For evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.

16 As for me, I shall call upon God,
And the Lord will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur,
And He will hear my voice.
18 He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me,
For they are many who strive with me.
19 God will hear and answer them—
Even the one who sits enthroned from of old— Selah.
With whom there is no change,
And who do not fear God.
20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him;
He has violated his covenant.
21 His speech was smoother than butter,
But his heart was war;
His words were softer than oil,
Yet they were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
23 But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction;
Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days.
But I will trust in You.

So you know I’ve been talking lately about the difference between trust and control.  How this has played out is learning to pray differently.  From the experience of change after I trusted God completely in His way and time, not my own, I decided that instead of doing the normal thing where I pray for specifics, I’m praying situations.

I mean, it’s not like there’s not a long list of stuff that I haven’t had on the prayer request list for years.  I’ve already ASKED.  So, when things bug me, it’s like, “God, I’m sad/angry/concerned about this today.”

It’s very counter-intuitive.  I’m not saying, “I pray X for this situation” and figuring out on my own how God should best fix something or what He should provide.  Not how I learned to pray, believe me – I mean, how often have you had someone ask you to pray for a certain specific thing instead of the big thing?  We have such small ideas about what God could do.  I think our lack of faith must make Him sad sometimes.

I thought the line about “being restless in my complaint” and “every morning I will complain and murmur” sounded a lot like me lately.  But that’s being honest with God and not trying to pretend that I’m happy while I’m waiting.  Trust is a choice, not an emotion.   Lying to God, including hypocrisy, where I pretend like I’m not in the headspace that I most assuredly AM in, is pretty stupid.  I do it anyway, and I’m trying to unlearn that.

Prayer is so powerful.  We (me?) like to think our actions are more powerful than our prayers, but what does Scripture say?  The weapons of our warfare (aka prayer and scripture, Eph 6) are divinely powerful.

And then listen, which isn’t something we talk about much… I mean, doesn’t everyone hear God when He wants you to do or say something?  So, you obey that still small voice.  That’s important too.

Or why I’m babbling out this very disorganized blog. 😀

But I want to see God work wonders.  I should let Him get on with working them, instead of micromanaging the Creator of the universe.

What did you get?  What’s God been speaking into your life recently?

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2 thoughts on “Study Notes: A change in prayer

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