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.)