Advertisement

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Wheeler-Dealer God iv: Poker with Jesus

I believe God does bargain, but his terms are high stakes. Most of the time I don’t have courage to stay in the game. I fold my hand before the bidding starts. Here’s another clip from Six Prayers God Always Answers – a dare to play poker with Jesus!

Martin Luther had a quick wit and a quicker tongue, and throughout his life said things he had good reason to later regret. Luther had already received a Master’s degree, when in 1505, at his father’s urging, he enrolled in law school. One day as he walked near the university a lightning bolt struck so near him that in panic he cried out, “Help, St. Anne! I’ll become a monk!” The storm passed. His life was spared.

Advertisement

He regretted his words. Yet, Luther kept his promise. Against his father’s wishes, Luther dropped law school and entered an Augustinian monastery where he applied himself fully to the meritorious systems of Medieval Catholicism.

A monk’s life encompassed bargain after bargain. Luther, like the pre-Christian Saul of Tarsus, excelled in cutting good-works deals with his Creator. He fasted, repented, served the poor, and vigorously studied both ancient and contemporary scholastic theologians. In 1510, Luther even walked 850 miles to Rome, crawling up the steps of St. Peter’s Cathedral to prove he deserved a hearing before God. 

Advertisement

But ten years of such rigor moved him no closer to God. His bargains all felt one-sided. The harder he pressed, the deeper the silence. God eluded him. His prayers were not answered.

Then one day in 1514, Luther was locked away in his study, on the second floor of a tower attached to the seminary where he taught. He was reading Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Suddenly another lightning bolt struck. Though it was only metaphoric, this one didn’t miss.

Luther was working his way through the first chapter when he came to the words, “righteousness that is by faith… ” Suddenly, his whole world tilted 180 degrees.

Advertisement

Negotiations with God were closed. The deal had been sealed 1,500 years earlier when Jesus had exchanged his perfection for our brokenness. In a flash, Luther realized his monkish pandering was all nonsense. To bargain with God was to presume the parties hold currencies of equal value. The reality, Luther realized was that we hold nothing of substance at all.

To offer God compensation for his favors is insulting, like offering to pay the host of an extravagant feast with the change in our pocket. The very currency we offer to pay our debt–obedience, good works, faithfulness–is the very stuff of which heaven is made. Like the rich man with the suitcase of gold bricks, we’re proudly pouring out pieces of asphalt and chunks of cement. And God is just smiling at the pathetic mess we’re making.

Advertisement

We have nothing of worth to offer him. Our currency holds no value in his kingdom. And even if there were a way for us to exchange our currency for his, he is far too generous to ever be fairly compensated. Instead, all we need do is accept the gift as given. But in asking to receive that gift we are in essence exchanging our life–for his Son’s.

What is the currency of heaven?

Life.

Our life is the only cash God will accept.

Advertisement

What are the rules of commerce?

Ask.

Receive.

Get more than you bargained for.

I’m getting in the game. You?

  • Juana

    I’m reminded of the scripture in Isaiah that our righteous acts are noting more than filty rags. Yes, you are right, “we have nothing of worth to offer. . .”

  • Your Name

    I’m ALL IN! Nothing to lose and everything to gain!

  • L.Taylor

    The only thing Christ asks of us, is TOTAL COMMITMENT. Too often we mistake our thinking for his. He made a Commitment to us when he went to the cross. His commitment was to become like us, so that we could become like Him. Look at all the conversations He had in the bible, Everything boils down to you making a commitment to Him. That is the price he asks. It is hard to do, but what else do we have to offer? Our will combined with God’s will. Total obedience. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” How many today are disobeying by keeping the commandments of men instead of God? Repent, turn your thinking from yourself to God. x688hf

  • DeborahJohnson

    I love jesus and what he has done and continues to do for me and everyone around me and i will continue to strive to be one with him.

  • kay smith

    He is the only one who will never forsake us or turn his back on us.

  • Lisa

    Believe in Him…Trust Him..Surrender to Him. He will never let you down!!

  • Lissa Kropfli

    DO U NEED ANY LOAN
    Hello every one please i quickly want to use this medium to shear a testimony on how God directed me to a Legit and real loan lender who have transformed my life from grass to grace, from being poor to a rich woman who can now boast of a healthy and wealthy life without stress or financial difficulties. After so many months of trying to get a loan on the internet and was scammed the sum of $2,700 i became so desperate in getting a loan from a legit loan lender online who will not add to my pains,then i decided to contact a friend of mine who recently got a loan online, we discussed about the issue and to our conclusion she told me about a Woman called Mrs Veronica Phillips who is the CEO ROYAL LOAN INTERNATIONAL So i applied for a loan sum of ($120,000.00) with low interest rate so the loan was approved easily without stress and all the preparations where made concerning the loan transfer and in less than three(3) days the loan was deposited into my bank. Contact her via email: maysusfinancialservices@gmail.com for your loan today.

Previous Posts

A Prayer to Release Your Anxiety to God
Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. (Psalm 55:22) Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7) Anxiety and stress bear down hard on our bodies causing all kinds of potential health ...

posted 7:26:12am Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

A Prayer to Honor Our Parents
You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. Each of you must show great respect for your mother and father…I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:2b,3) Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the ...

posted 11:48:01am Apr. 25, 2016 | read full post »

A Prayer for the Prodigal
"Return to me," says the LORD of hosts, "and I will return to you." (Zechariah 1:3) Father, Thank you for loving the prodigals. Thank you for your willingness to allow them to make the first move towards relationship with you once ...

posted 9:37:34am Apr. 25, 2016 | read full post »

An Olive Tree Prayer
But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love. (Psalm 52:8) What’s it like to be an olive tree? David compared himself to one. We don’t have olive trees in our region, so I had to ...

posted 11:08:10am Apr. 21, 2016 | read full post »

A Prayer for the Joy in Trials
  Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is ...

posted 12:48:15pm Apr. 20, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.