articlesqa February 19, 2018 my god my god
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Article by Ifeoluwapo EleyinafeCreator and author of thinkheaven.com

In Mover of moun­tains and Lord of val­leys, we talked about prayer as the ex­pres­sion of our na­ture as a union of eter­ni­ty and time. Just be­fore that, we said that prayer is a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween you and God about the world around you and the world with­in you. So when we com­bine the two de­f­i­n­i­tions, what we are say­ing this: we are crea­tures of earth and spir­it who, through prayer, learn from God about time, eter­ni­ty and our­selves. With this syn­the­sis, we can be­gin to un­der­stand why the an­swers to some prayers take longer to man­i­fest than oth­ers.

Jars of Clay

When I first came to faith, I asked God for a few things. I asked Him for the Holy Spir­it, for wis­dom and I asked Him to get my moth­er out of a bad job in one week. With­in that week, my moth­er was wrong­ly fired. Yet, I did not im­me­di­ate­ly see or feel the an­swers to my oth­er two prayers. So I stopped ask­ing God about them. I be­lieved that God had heard me but I just fig­ured, “I had asked Him and I be­lieved He had an­swered.” What was the point of re­peat­ing my­self?

Now sad­ly, this has not al­ways been the case in my life. Some­times, I have stopped pray­ing be­cause I thought God was “tak­ing too long” or be­cause I didn’t see the an­swer. I didn’t think or un­der­stand that when I move on from God, I am mov­ing out of the light of knowl­edge and into the dark­ness of ig­no­rance. From the Bible, we know that we are made from eter­ni­ty and time but very few peo­ple can ac­tu­al­ly say what eter­ni­ty is or what time is. We def­i­nite­ly do not un­der­stand all the in­tri­ca­cies of how eter­ni­ty and time abide and re­late to form our be­ing Psalms 139:13-15. It would ap­pear then that we who are ig­no­rant of our own na­tures and ig­no­rant of our lo­ca­tion in time and space are busy try­ing to hur­ry God along. It is like bat­ter say­ing to the cook, “Add the sug­ar now!” or, “I’ve been in this oven too long.” It is like clay com­mand­ing the pot­ter, “Make me into a Ming Dy­nasty jar!” Isa­iah 45:9-11

It would be bet­ter for clay and bat­ter to be silent be­cause they don’t know noth­ing about noth­ing. So also, any im­pa­tience with God that makes us stop pray­ing is root­ed in pride of life. It is de­c­la­ra­tion that I am strong when real­ly, I am weak or that I am clothed when I am naked Rev­e­la­tions 3:17. I can only move on to oth­er idols and gods for the an­swers to my prayers when I think I know who I am, where I am and when I am. God have mer­cy and help me re­pent be­fore I dis­cov­er that the mon­ster hid­ing in the dark­ness is me.

Now si­lence be­fore God does NOT nec­es­sar­i­ly mean the ab­sence of speech. It is very right and even right­eous to ask God, “How long?” But note, the Chris­t­ian asks God Psalms 13:1, Habakkuk 1:2, Rev­e­la­tion 6:9-11. By ask­ing God a Chris­t­ian uses her ques­tion to si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly ex­press her po­si­tion as a child in des­per­ate need of her Fa­ther God. In­stead of mov­ing ahead with­out Him, she loves Him and prays to Him and waits on Him be­cause she trusts that He Knows every­thing about every­thing. She trusts that He Loves her. She trusts that He Is Almighty and Good. When a Chris­t­ian re­mem­bers that he is dust car­ried along the winds of time, he is free, like a child, to ask his Fa­ther “Are we there yet?” but he nev­er tries to take the wheel from The Fa­ther. He waits and dis­cov­ers that in the end, he got there right on time Isa­iah 40:28-31.

Faith

So in­stead of flee­ing God, let us un­der­stand the move­ments of our hearts so that we can flee the temp­ta­tion of cre­at­ing idols Ex­o­dus 32:1. In 1 Kings 18:43-44 Eli­jah prayed to God for rain. But the rain did not im­me­di­ate­ly come. In fact, his ser­vant went back and forth sev­en times be­fore see­ing even a tiny cloud. Now on the first trip to see the hori­zon, the ser­vant had an ex­pec­ta­tion of change. But by the 6th time, if I was the ser­vant, I would have been won­der­ing whether this cloud was ever go­ing to ap­pear. That this ser­vant of Eli­jah con­tin­ued to ex­pect God’s An­swer so that he was able to per­ceive in the dis­tant hori­zon a cloud the size of a man’s hand seems to me a far greater mir­a­cle than the fire that had just fall­en from heav­en 1 Kings 18:37-38. Over time we have a ten­den­cy to let our per­spec­tive shape our prayer in­stead of per­sist­ing in faith so that God, through our prayers, can con­tin­ue to shape our per­spec­tive. And yet, as we said above, we don’t real­ly know any­thing about the phys­i­cal world or the spir­i­tu­al world. So why should I let ig­no­rance and dark­ness shape the words I speak to my Lov­ing God?

So let us not pray from the dark­ness. Let us in­stead pray in the light. Let us not pray out of fear of the cir­cum­stances or the pres­sure of time. Let us pray out of a holy fear of God that comes from ex­pe­ri­enc­ing His Love. Let us not pray out of ig­no­rance. Let us pray out of our knowl­edge. As is the mot­to of Thinkheav­en, “Knowl­edge is any re­la­tion­ship we ex­pe­ri­ence through our re­la­tion­ship with Je­sus Christ.” What then do we know about God through Je­sus Christ? Matthew 6:9-13 God Is. God Is our Fa­ther Who Is King of heav­en and earth. God Loves Us enough to die for us. God Is Almighty. God Is Good. God Wants His Will to be done on earth as it is in Heav­en. God Wants us to de­sire that His Will be done on earth as it is Heav­en. He Will give us bread to eat and He will for­give us our sins. He will keep us from temp­ta­tion and de­liv­er us from evil. There­fore, in or­der to con­tin­ue in prayer, es­pe­cial­ly when the an­swer seems de­layed, we must have faith in God and be­lieve He Is Who He Says He Is. No mat­ter what the cir­cum­stances are, we must al­ways keep our sight on God through prayer. Re­mem­ber: prayer is a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween you and God about the world around you and the world with­in you. Nev­er ever stop talk­ing to Him. Al­ways al­ways main­tain the con­ver­sa­tion with God. Be­lieve in God and then tell Him what you see go­ing on in and around you.

This does not mean that you ig­nore the world or pre­tend there are no prob­lems. David gives a clear ex­am­ple of how we should pray in the Psalms. Psalms 22 is a per­fect ex­am­ple of a man who was talk­ing with God about every­thing go­ing on around Him. Is­rael by the red sea, in Ex­o­dus 14:10-12, be­lieved they were trapped and saw the might of Egypt threat­en­ing to crush them. But Moses, by see­ing God through prayer, saw that the Egypt­ian army was about to be de­stroyed Ex­o­dus 14:13-14. Through his prayer, God showed Moses a path where oth­ers only saw the sea! Ex­o­dus 14:15-16 And Je­sus on the cross, even when He cried like his fa­ther David Psalms 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you for­sak­en me,” was still pray­ing to God His Fa­ther in Whom He Be­lieved Matthew 27:46. So if the free­dom from sin seems de­layed in com­ing or the en­e­mies just seem to keep get­ting clos­er, or you can­not yet touch your heart’s de­sire, con­tin­ue cling­ing to God through con­stant un­ceas­ing prayer. Do not let your per­spec­tive of your cir­cum­stances nar­row the ex­panse of your prayers. In­stead, con­tin­ue to pray so that God may shape your per­spec­tive of cir­cum­stances.

Some Prac­ti­cal Ad­vice

It al­ways helps to ask the fol­low­ing ques­tion, “What could God do here?” Look out into the val­ley of dry bones, look out into the red seas ahead of you and look at the army chas­ing you and ask God, “What can you do here?” And with that prayer, sud­den­ly you are free to move moun­tains or stop the moon. Or maybe, like Je­sus, you can join God in lov­ing an army of en­e­mies into an army of friends who dine at your ta­ble Psalms 23:6, Ro­mans 5:7-10. All things are pos­si­ble to her who be­lieves. Mark 9:23

PRAYER
Have you ever seen a paint­ing or a draw­ing? If you were to com­pare the paint­ing and pho­to­graph of the same same scene, you will no­tice that the artist “for­gets” to paint cer­tain de­tails and adds oth­er de­tails that aren’t present in the pho­to­graph. Why? Well, that is how peo­ple see. In or­der to see clear­ly, you must first be­come blind to every­thing you do not want to see. Hence, self­ish love is blind be­cause self­ish love can only see it­self. But Chris­t­ian love sees all by see­ing only Je­sus. In a sim­i­lar way, un­der the guid­ance of the Bible, I have been us­ing words to paint a pic­ture of the dis­ci­ple. In a...
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“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” - Colossians 2:3

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