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Friday, January 13, 2017

Prayer requires trust, not just complaint

A friend posted a kind of special thought this week and I just wanted to take a moment to ask us to really think on this one:  "Prayer is bringing your wishes and worries to God; faith is leaving them there." Now, how many of us do a great job at the "prayer" part of this, but kind of fall down a little on the "faith" part?  I think all of us could honestly answer that one with a "kinda not so good"! We might just need to work a little bit more on the "faith" part since we have the "discussion" and "complaint" part of prayer down pretty well!

Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.  He’ll never let good people topple into ruin.  But you, God, will throw the others into a muddy bog, cut the lifespan of assassins and traitors in half.  And I trust in you.  (Psalm 55:22-23 MSG)

We might give lip-service to letting God carry our load, but I'd have to say many of us take it to him, then pick it up again prior to leaving his presence. I think this is one of the toughest things to do, but people make it seem quite simple. The fact of the matter is that most of us haven't any idea how to really leave stuff at the feet of Jesus and we go around carrying burdens way too big for us to carry and which are not ours to carry in the first place!

Some of the ways we carry burdens too great for us to bear might just escape us as true "burdens", though. For example, when we hold grudges against others who have 'done us wrong', we are taking upon our own shoulders a burden never meant to be carried by any of us. This is why scripture reminds us that "vengeance" is on the shoulders of God! When we won't lay down our desire to see another hurt as badly as we are hurting, or we won't release them from the "debt" we believe they owe us for having 'done us wrong', we are carrying a burden we weren't designed to carry.

Try hauling a semi trailer with a compact car and you will understand what I am saying! The compact car isn't designed or equipped for the burden it is trying to haul! Neither are we! That is why God actually gives us permission to pile those troubles high upon his shoulders - assuring us that he will carry them. Sometimes we think we need to help him carry them, but I don't see that in what God commands. He doesn't need our help to carry those weights - he needs our permission to pick them up and deal with them as he sees fit! Just sayin!