What Your Prayer Life Says About Your Faith11:48 AM
I stumbled across this bulletpoint that blew me away:
We think prayer is a gamble
Sometimes we pray that someone would be healed and they are healed. Sometimes we pray that someone would be healed and they die. Prayer is a gamble, right? Wrong.
The dictionary defines “gamble” (noun) as:
any matter or thing involving risk or hazardous uncertainty.
a venture in a game of chance for stakes, especially for high stakes.
Why pray when our chances are just as good without it? Why shake a Magic 8 ball? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just hope for the best, use good doctors and prepare for the worst? Not if you actually believe in God. Not if you actually believe in the prayer the Bible speaks of. The weird analogy from Sunday school about God sitting in a chair, staring at me is not far from the truth. Isaiah 65:4 says, “Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.” And 1 John 5:14-15: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”
Now, God is not exactly like your mom or dad because he’s completely holy, eternal, all-powerful, etc., but He does compare Himself to a mother or a father many times in scripture. When you were a kid, did you ever ask your parents for anything? Did they always say the same thing? I doubt it. Does that mean asking them for something was a pointless gamble? Of course not.
Prayer is not a gamble. Prayer is a conversation with good father who knows best, but also loves you dearly. Sometimes He says “no,” sometimes He says “yes,” but every answer is made of justice and love.
-- See more of the 7 real reasons we don't pray by Everly Pleasant @ Clickety-Clack.
And this sums up why I do not pray when I do not pray. I think I've got the same mindset as a nonbeliever -- trying to do spiritual things without God. I'm a planner and a problem-solver. It takes little effort to factor God into my equations if I'm 98% sure He'll come through on His side of the bargain. If I'm not sure He'll join my team, well, I've learned to press on through hardship alone.
It's a subtle attitude -- an attitude I didn't realize I had until I read this post. Scary how unbelief creeps into the most basic of basic spirituality. Who am I really following -- God or my desires? Who is really directing my life -- God or my plans?
How you pray answers both those questions in ways I wish were not true.
(See "Do You Pray Like an Unbeliever?" for more thoughts on this.)