Wrestling With God

For three days I wasn’t able to post anything because I had accidentally deleted this blog. I meant to delete an old, neglected blog, but for some reason this blog got deleted instead. If you click on that big ? encased in a blue circle on the bottom right of your screen, it will take you to the help section. You will see others asking how do they get their blog restored. The answer is you only can if you contact WordPress within 30 days and tell them it was a mistake. I thought about starting a new blog from scratch, but that means losing my followers. So I sent emails to WordPress support. It took 2 days for them to restore this blog.

During those 2 days I did a lot of reflecting. I thought about prayer and my own praying. Was I seeing answers? Was my heart right? My motivation? Was I asking anything for selfish reasons? Asking amiss? There is one thing I have been praying to God for. It’s been a number of years, but I still keep asking and believing. The Bible says to pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) If I keep asking God for the same thing over and over, wouldn’t this mean I’m riddled with doubt that God will do it? How many times should a Christian ask God for something? Once, three times, as many times as necessary until God brings it to pass?

Yesterday, I was reading about prayer. A pastor, who’s name I have forgotten, says we should pray by thanking God as if He has already given us what we have been asking Him for. After all, God is outside of time. Everything He will ever do for us has already been done. For example: If we have a chronic illness and have prayed for God’s healing, we should then continue thanking Him as if we were already made well. We could pray: “Thank you Father for my healing. My body is better.” Even if we are still sick. This demonstrates faith and trust. Many Christians will object and say that God doesn’t always heal. True enough. But if we pray in doubt, we certainly won’t receive.

I have a book that give quotes by early church fathers on a myriad of topics. I looked up the word, Prayer, and found some that were interesting. These men believed in praying without ceasing.

“Be constant in both prayer and reading. First, speak with God, then let God speak with you. Let Him instruct you in His teachings, let Him direct you. Let us ask and we will receive. And if there is delay and tardiness in our receiving–let us knock, for “to him that knocks it will also be opened.” But our prayers, our groaning and our tears must knock at the door. And with these we must be urgent and persevering, even though prayer is offered with one mind…Let us urgently pray and groan with continual petitions. Know this, beloved brethren, that I was not long ago reproached in a vision about this–that we were lethargic in our prayers and did not pray with watchfulness…Therefore, let us strike off and break away from the bonds of sleep and pray with urgency and watchfulness.” (Cyprian, c. 250)

“In days gone by, prayer used to call down plagues, scatter the armies of foe, and withhold the wholesome influences of showers. Now, however the prayer of righteousness averts all of God’s anger, keeps patrol on behalf of personal enemies, and makes supplication on behalf of persecutors.

We are a body knit together … by a common religious profession, by unity of discipline, and by the bond of a common hope. We meet together as an assembly and congregation, that, offering up prayer to God with united force, we may wrestle with him in our supplications. This violence God delights in.” (Tertullian, c. 198 Apology 39)

“Do not reason with yourself in this way, but turn to the Lord with all your heart and ask of him without doubting, and you will know the multitude of his tender mercies; that he will never leave you, but fulfill the request of your soul. He is not like men, who remember evils done against them. He does not remember evils  and has compassion on his own creation. Cleanse, therefore, your heart from all the vanities of the world and from the words already mentioned and ask of the Lord and you will receive all. In none of your requests will you be denied, which you make to the Lord without doubting. But if you doubt in your heart, you will receive none of you requests, for those who doubt are double-souled and obtain not one of their requests. Those who are perfect in faith ask everything, trusting in the Lord, and they obtain because they ask nothing doubting, not being double-souled.

If at any time, after you have asked of the Lord, you are slower in obtaining your request, do not doubt because you have not soon obtained the request of your soul. Invariably, it is because of some temptation or some sin of which you are ignorant that you are slower in obtaining your request. Therefore do not cease to make the request of your soul, and you will obtain it. If you grow weary and waver in your request, blame yourself, and not him who did not give it to you.” (Hermas, Commandment 9th. Ch. 1.)

15 thoughts on “Wrestling With God

  1. Welcome back! Glad you got your blog sorted out. I have been examining my own prayer life lately, also. I ask for a lot of the same things every day, like protection for my family and healing for certain people. It occurred to me that I might be getting into a repetitive rut. But I prayed about that and asked God to help me “freshen up” my prayer life and I think He has. I still pray for my family and loved ones and fully expect God to act in His own timing. I think thanking God for the things that He hasn’t done yet is a good idea and sign of faith. Be blessed, man!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Kevin. I did miss blogging, but sometimes things happen and we can use that time to spend alone with God. I need my prayer life to be “freshened up” as well. Lately, God has been silent. That scares me, but I’m sure the enemy is putting that fear in me because I know God will never leave those who are His.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen! Just as Jesus told His disciples, He is with us always. I know I have had periods where it seemed God was silent, too. In the end, I realized that I had to continue walking in faith and focusing on Him and in His timing He will speak again.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As I read your post I kept thinking about my son, who was born with a number of allergies that later developed into asthma. I had played heavily for his healing. God brought to me 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. Paul wanted healing God chose not to.
    I’m not saying he won’t heal you. But I wanted to share that sometimes a healing doesn’t happen, because it builds strength in your faith. More importantly it glorifies God. You may not know why or how, but praise God that it is bringing him glory. My son was never healed, but we both have great faith in God, his power, his sovereignty, and the need of following his will. May God bless in your journey to more deeply understand prayer.

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  3. Paul tells us we know not how to pray and that we are already blessed with all Spiritual blessings, he also as other pointed out prayed that his thorn of the flesh be removed and was told to rest in Christ glorifying Him. I pray always and I pray for spiritual peace, strength, wisdom, and courage to reach out to the lost, to live in a way that brings all honor and glory to God as a faithful ambassador of Christ but since Christ through Paul tells us that God is not dealing with the Body of Christ like he does with Israel (in the past and in the future) I do not ask for things pertaining to this world. I don’t ask for healing but for strength to bear the infirmity in Christ, I do not ask for wealth health or prosperity but grace to glory in whatever situation I am in good or bad cause this world is temporal and my home is in heaven, I pray that I would grow in my knowledge of the things of God and that I would be an ever more fruitful member of the Body, that utterance be given me to boldly proclaim the gospel of God’s grace, and that I would stand in the face of persecution and tribulations knowing that it is in Christ O have done all in Him and therefore fought a good fight and if it’s the end of my race then I am ready to come home. I pray these same things for each of y’all my brothers and sisters in Christ as well and I always pray let me reach just one more person God with your glorious grace – I want that to be my final prayer on Earth, that by my departure whether through death or the rapture that my time here would be a legacy that speaks not of me but my precious Savior.

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  4. I’m glad you’re here! You are an encouragement! I read this and right now I’m hopeful to reflect on what’s reusable.
    Evil is what I live in and Jesus promises that troubles are to be expected. What I’m saying is that I know that God is able, but there’s nothing in scripture to give me an assurance for relief from every evil. I pray for righteousness fervently but what’s usable?
    I’m commanded to live my days with a man who loves his soul more than life. I’m disabled and unable to leave. I live from a place a brokenness without public honor. I float with no rational idea why I’m living these last 41 years.
    I had hoped that godliness would preserve me, but I’m reeping loneliness and the stigma of hearing this voice that tells me it’s from God.
    I really wanted to solve this idea of messages that don’t take a regard for acknowledging the suffering that’s allowed and spoken of in scripture.
    I’ve honestly wept gallons from my youth till now seeking God’s relief and yet this is the seclusion I’m in.
    So far, I’m still stuck in this silent hole despite the many years of blessing God’s perfect will.
    I was hopeful to share my faith without diluting God’s powerful witness.
    I can’t rationalize believers who forget real persecution is what some of us can’t leave.

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  5. The most important to prayer is that we’re having a conversation with our Father. He’s not hard of hearing or forgetful, but sadly we struggle with both problems. So, we ask and keep on asking, we seek and keep on seeking and knock and keep on knocking.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my goodness, how scary. So glad you were able to get it back.
    Excellent post! I too have prayed for a couple of things for many years. Still believing God, but one thing I do know is it may not have come to pass YET, but through it all God has changed me. So I will continue to call those things that be not as though they are.

    Thank you my friend for the encouragement. God bless you!

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    1. I think there are many Christians who do not know that we can speak of those things that be not as if they were. It is hard to always live by faith and not by sight, especially when our situation looks bad. You are so right about God changing us during the times of waiting.

      Thanks got commenting. God bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. hearmorefromgod

    Enjoying your thoughts here. I too count on God to redeem 2 of my sons who have wandered away from Him. And I DO believe that He is faithful to complete the good work He began in them. And it is my sure hope to see God’s hand at work in their lives to bring them back – while I am in the land of the living! Along those lines, I recently had surgery for breast cancer and am not able to do the usual radiation or pills – but I have NO trouble believing God will either keep the cancer away for me, or bring me through it in His way should it return. And I thank Him for these things in confidence and in advance!
    Thanks for the like at DailyBiblePrayer.
    May God reward your diligence in retrieving your blog, an bless your ministry here.
    Laura

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Since God changes not, He still heals. I have read so many testimonies of Christians being healed of cancer, etc. Thanking God in advance takes much faith. I have started doing that too. God bless you and your sons!

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