Prayer requests

School’s actually (practically) been over for a week already for me, and you’d have thought that meant more time for blogging, but between playing with a new phone (which I’ll probably blog about this week) and playing old uncompleted games (finally completed Neverwinter Nights 2 two years after its release, and got started on the expansion), there’s actually been very little leftover time (or incentive) to write. Somehow I’ve gained the motivation to write on this rainy Sunday evening, so here goes.

I’ve been going to Wesley Methodist Church these past few weeks, and though I’m not sure I’ll be making it a permanent home, it’s been a comfortable place to go for service. Anyway, they hand out a church bulletin booklet every week, which is probably a phenomenal waste of paper, but something nice about that is the prayer request section they have at the back. Basically, anybody who has requests they’ll like people to pray for could submit them to be printed in the booklet.

I don’t usually read that section in detail, but I do occasionally skim through it, and when I do, the thing that strikes me is the wide range in nature of the requests. On the one hand, you have people dying from leukaemia, lying comatose, and on the other you have requests for exam results and the like. I don’t think I’d have dared to submit a public prayer request for such (relatively) trivial matters when others’ lives are hanging in the balance, but I guess when believing in an infinite God, you’re supposed to assume that he can deal with your little requests without diminishing his ability to tackle the big ones.

I’ve realised, though, that this is a philosophy I take into my private prayer habits. I seldom pray for things, unless they’re things I feel to be really important. I know in theory that an omnipotent God should be able to deal with it all, but I guess I’m unable to actually comprehend this rationally, and decide not to bring my unworthy desires before God. This has always bothered me somewhat, though – especially upon meeting Ailin’s fellowship group in Japan and observing how each one of them always had stuff to pray about when they met weekly. It’s like, all the normal Christians are bringing their various requests to God, what are you, too good to ask for anything?

I wonder, though, whether I should be trying to change this perception by force, or whether I should be trying to reach an understanding of God that I can naturally accept? The Bible says to ask in order to receive (though it later qualifies that the intent behind the asking is important too), but if I don’t want it enough to trouble God about it (even though he probably won’t be troubled by it at all), that’s not really a problem, is it?

(And yes, I know supplication shouldn’t be all that’s involved in prayer, but I’m not particularly talky with God right now so it’s still the main component for me. Yes, I’m working on it.)


Posted on November 23, 2008, in Faith. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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