Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Praying and Roller-Coasters ~ Prayer Lesson #4

I don’t like roller-coaster rides.  I’ve even heard myself use the word hate in relationship to them.  That comes from personal experience.  I’m much more the carousel type. 

I do like to pray. 

But sometimes my prayers feel like I’m on a roller-coaster ride.  You know what I mean.  God seems to be saying yes to my requests one day and the next day, it’s wait or I (God) have a better plan.  The highs and the lows, the mountains and the valleys are emotionally exhausting and sometimes very discouraging.  The peaks and the dips of a roller-coaster ride seem a good analogy to life some days and how I am praying.

Recently a friend reminded me that a roller-coaster ride is only a good analogy to prayer if my prayers are centered around the ups and the downs of life.  Father, would you cause this job offer to come through?  Father, would you cause this medicine work?  Father, would you cause my child to obey better?  Those are all legitimate requests.  They express desires.  I believe God is the author of our desires and He wants to fulfill them.  So I will continue to pray prayers like these.  But requests like these are a moving target controlled by circumstances.  I should not be surprised by a roller-coaster ride.

Hebrews 13:5, 6 and 8 remind me of three great truths,  “I will never leave you or forsake you;  the Lord is my helper; I will not fear; and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
1.      God is omnipresent.  He is always aware of all the circumstances of my life.  God is going to ride them out with me. 
2.      God not only is on the roller-coaster ride with me, He is helping me hang on through those very scary down hill parts. 
3.      God is not affected by the circumstances of my life.  His Word never changes.

This weekend I heard a friend share her story of the ups and downs of her marriage.  She put words to what I’d been thinking about.  She said, “I wasn’t looking to my marriage to be my security”.  Then she shared the Scriptures that had become her security during the very rocky days of her marriage.  She was hanging on to our omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, never-changing God.  The words of Scripture became her main prayers and they tamed the roller- coaster ride for her.

And so it is for me.  I am learning to tame the roller-coaster ride by praying Scripture; by trusting the truths of God’s Word.  Yes, I still pray for certain circumstances, but more and more I’m defaulting to what I know is truth.  The roller-coaster is becoming much more bearable.

“and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32

1 comment:

  1. Oh how i need this today as it's been quite the roller coaster! Thank you Sue for a much needed reminder to keep focusing not on circumstances but on who God is! I so appreciate it! (btw I don't like roller coasters either!)