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The Limits of Your Prayers

January 23, 2012

Last night at church during our youth group’s worship time, I asked the following question of all of us in the room:

What are the limits of your prayers? …or stated more pointedly…What won’t you pray about?

So I figured that was a good question to dwell on a little longer than simply last night. Now I’ll ask you…at least the few of you who read our blog πŸ™‚

In your life, what won’t you ask God about, either because you’re afraid that you’ll get an answer you won’t like or you’re afraid that He’ll just condemn you right off the bat? Why won’t you ask Him about healing an addiction. Maybe it’s because you don’t really think your problems matter compared to those who are “less fortunate in the world” or because your actually not all that interested in getting rid of that addiction in the first place. Why won’t you ask Him to restore and heal your struggling marriage? Is it because He might show you things or people who you’ve allowed to take the place of honoring your spouse?

It can be difficult in many cases to pray for family, friends, co-workers. But it can be exceedingly harder to pray for ourselves when we know that we need to be changed, when we know that our brokenness and our sinfulness stand in the way of other breakthrough in our life and in the lives of those whom we love.

The beautiful thing that I’m realizing is that He is so patient and He’s very gentle and loving when I finally work-up the courage to say, Lord where am I failing…Lord restore me here…Heal this wound that You’ve so graciously shown me that I have.

Jesus wants to do these things in all of us. He wants so much more than the “relationship with us” that we hear about so many times in plenty of church settings. He wants Oneness (more to come on Oneness in future posts).Β He wants an open dialog instead of a one way telethon conversation that ends abruptly when we have an answer from Him.

So what have you wanted to ask Him? Don’t wait. Don’t be afraid. Just ask.

-Joel

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2012 4:27 pm

    I usually find myself not praying about really little things, even though in my life, it could be a big thing…like…drinking too much soda or eating out at restaurants. It’s a burden on my health (for example) and can be a burden on our budget! So why don’t I think to talk to him about that? πŸ™‚

    • January 23, 2012 7:20 pm

      Chrissy,

      I hear you on that! And I just love that He wants to hear all of it with the same earnest and loving heart all the time!

  2. January 23, 2012 4:28 pm

    Oh…but I’m really good at talking to him about the BIG stuff!

  3. January 23, 2012 8:44 pm

    I have a hard time praying those ‘dangerous’ prayers…”Lord, give me patience”, “Lord, make me humble”…I’ve stayed away from them because people have warned me that the Lord will answer those kinds of prayers! πŸ™‚ And it’s true…the things we pray for ourselves or answer in response to the Lord will begin to seep into our lives. A few months ago Father asked me if I was ready to die…and my reply was YES! Please!! (What was I thinking! πŸ™‚ He started to show me things I needed to change, and I wasn’t always obedient to begin that process. He’s teaching me obedience and dependency…whether I like it or not because I told Him yes and even though there’s been some desperate ‘hanging on’ to things, I meant it, so He’ll keep going. It is painful, but the dependency and grace we find in Jesus through the process is worth it…every time…

    So…that was maybe a little bit heavy…a prayer that I’m afraid to pray? I can’t say that I haven’t prayed it…but when I do I always think that it’s not really something I need…just something I want and so don’t put a lot of faith into it…Jesus…heal my eyes! Sounds so funny after saying that I’d die huh? πŸ™‚

    • January 24, 2012 11:45 am

      Stacey – That’s nitty gritty stuff — and it’s just what Jesus wants to hear from us. He asks you a tough question like that and then after you answer Him back, He gently gives you these glimpses of other things that He wants you to ask Him about; to invite Him in for healing or strengthening…

      I think that sometimes, He’ll just ask us those seemingly off the wall questions simply to strike up a conversation with us. He gets our attention and then gets at the real issues He wants to talk with us about. Our pastor did a really great job this past week of framing a lot of these same issues in His message — you can check it out here if you ever want to πŸ™‚ His message starts at about 3:30 into the recording — http://pl.b5z.net/i/u/6065498/m/01-22-12.mp3

      Miss hanging out with you Ousleys!!! Love you!

      -Joel

  4. Midge permalink
    February 3, 2012 8:58 pm

    OMG – was trying to find best way to get this to you…how appropriate!! Here you go –
    I am finally able to understand and accept the Secret. It can be a blessing or a curse, but it is all within your own power..you control it. The irony is this. The reason I am able to understand, accept and learn from this is because of the people who have stormed in to my life IN SPITE of me..pushing themselves in to my life, even though I was not sending out positive thoughts, wavelengths. How is that possible? Two reasons – One, I have been blessed.. Two, They have enough to share. They KNOW the Secret… And they know who they are in my life. To those I say, I love you and Thank you, God for bringing them to me.

    See how important you are????

    • February 3, 2012 9:13 pm

      We love u so much Midge. And we are so blessed by your friendship. Can’t wait to spend some time with u hopefully sooner rather than later. Praying that the Lord continues to mend and restore your broken heart and that He reminds you every morning of His love for you πŸ™‚

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  1. What Don’t You Pray About? « midwestcoastworship

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