Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Midweek Meditation: "Praying Away?"

As we continue through the Season of Lent, we are reminded that prayer is a good spiritual exercise. It can also be a spiritual cop-out if our heart is not right. Lent is a good time to remember that sin wreaks havoc on creation and the world that God has created. It is sin that nailed Jesus to the Cross. It is sin that brings down the world of work and the works that have been done. As Christians we learn to give thanks in prayer. We also learn to seek God for help in prayer. Mark Batterson makes a distinction between "praying away" from "praying through."

In "praying away, people sees the problem, and despite knowing the good that ought to be done, chooses the path of passivity. They keep everything under wraps and thinking that by prayer, everything bad and nasty will go away. Like an ostrich that pokes its head into the sand upon sensing immediate danger, the sinner tries to "pray away" his wrong by assuming that his prayers are spiritual medicine.  Batterson calls such prayers, "get me out" prayers. He also remarks that most of our prayers tend to be self-seeking prayers for comfort and pleasure, rather than for God's glory.  He reminds us that the primary way that prayers are used is not to change circumstances. It is to change us back toward the image of God more and more.

"Sometimes God delivers us from our problems; sometimes God delivers us through our problems." (Mark Batterson)

So do we simply "pray away" our problems? No. What matters is that God is using our prayers (and our problems) to draw us closer to Him.


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