Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Trouble with God (Okay, Me)

God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I'm alert to God's ways; I don't take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I'm watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
- Psalm 18:20-24

There are many things I have prayed for in my lifetime that have not happened. There are many cliche's about why this would be. I'm not going to get into those here, because most of you have probably heard them and I think they are as lame as most people probably do. I am typically not bothered by God not doing what I want. Many times a day my kids ask me for things that I do not give them. This does not make me a bad parent any more than God not doing what I ask makes him bad or uncaring or non-existent.

What does bother me is that I often find myself praying for other people. And other people can do whatever they want. God isn't some big puppeteer in the sky just waiting to make people do something. He is a loving Father who is waiting for people to choose to love him back. I don't force my kids to tell me they love me or to show me affection. I, of course, shower them with love and affection because I love them more than life itself. And that is how God is with us. He tries to show us that he loves us, but he does not force his way into our lives. We choose him or we don't.

So... I'm not sure of why praying for other people is a good idea. I should probably have said this earlier, but I am not a Bible scholar so maybe there is an answer to this of which I am unaware. I will try to find it, but right now this is more of an honest rant from a hurting heart. I know there are many, many times in the Bible where someone prays for the healing of someone else. We have all heard of examples where someone had an ailment and they were prayed for and somehow, unexplainable by science, the ailment disappeared. There are also examples of praying for provision or for guidance or even for someone to be raised from the dead. I am wracking my brain and cannot think of any examples of when someone just prayed for someone else to (paraphrasing the scripture above) place the pieces of their life before God so that he could make them complete again.... and then it happened.

I should probably not even be writing this, but there are a lot of people I am praying for and I am beginning to wonder if this is just an exercise in futility. I'm not saying I am in danger of quitting. I'm just wondering if those specific prayers are the best use of my time. God gave people free will. People can do whatever the hell they want. They can turn their back on everything they know to be right, they can inflict hurt on people without a second thought, they can give in to hate. They can break your heart and there is nothing you can do about it And praying they won't doesn't seem to be all that effective.

I'm not trying to worry anyone. I'm really fine. I guess I'm just having a Doubting Thomas night and it kind of feels good to write about it.


  1. While our situations may be entirely different, I know that I've struggled with you on this one -- why pray for others when they will ignore or lash out or condemn? Continue on without a glance?

    But then I think of how others prayed for me. What I'm just now realizing about God has been years in the making, through the prayers of my grandparents who are on the other side of the world. Now that I have "opened the book of my heart to his eyes" I can go back and read where he's been at work all along! And each page is marked with prayer. :) It matters. Might not seem like it to us, but then again, we don't see everything that happens as a result.

    You matter, Trischa, in these peoples' lives -- your prayers matter.

    P.S. I quoted the same excerpt in my blog this eve! :) Keeping you in my prayers tonight, lady.

  2. Trish, don't stop praying! While you can't control anyone's will, and you can't make them change their mind or actions, your prayers CAN change things that are outside of their will. Your prayers may be protecting them and changing future happenings or situations.(If that makes sense.) Maybe this makes more sense: Maybe your prayer isn't so much for God to change that person's "will", but that God DO SOMETHING MIRACULOUS, outside of that person's will to bring them back to the place they should be.

    I hope that makes sense. I love you. :)

  3. Hey friend! I apologize for taking so long to comment-- thank you for yours! I love that psalm :) and your little "about me" blurp. I'll be excited to follow you! Xo