Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple


Provoked to Prayer

posted by Mark Herringshaw

The title Six Prayers God Always Answers is someone audacious, I admit. But I truly do believe that God does always listen and always respond.  We simply need to learn to pray expected, and listen for his hand.  In the book I argue that prayers for justice – that god would fix something that is wrong – always move him t to action.  I believe this because god himself hates evil and he shares this page with us to motivate us to stand with against it.  Here’s another excerpt.

 

Often we’re provoked to prayer not because of the situation itself, but because of the emotion that rises within us.

 

The same energy that lies deep below the surface of Yellowstone is reminiscently similar to the wild, untamed passion that bubbles under our exterior. Usually, this molten fury lies buried deep in our core, capped off by a resolute ego that diligently guards us from the dangers of our own impulses. But at certain places and times at church… our passions burst through.

 

When we want the murderer sentenced to life in prison, the thief punished, the hostile driver ticketed, the insolent child scolded, or the gossiper called on the carpet, not only are we recognizing the injustices around us, we can become provoked to anger over the situation.

 

We have varying thermostats. Our anger can be unexpectedly awakened by a spouse breaking a promise, a driver who cuts in front of us during rush-hour traffic, or by a neighborhood bully who threatens our child. A spark of anger ignites within us and to fuel the flames turning our careful constraints into a wide-sweeping, fast-moving, and dangerous inferno.

 

We lose control.

 

One petty injustice awakes something in us wilder and far more powerful than our own self-control.

 

Injustice unleashes our anger. This emotional eruption means a line has been crossed, a standard has been broken. Could our anger be more than emotion though? Could it be a sign of moral health?

 

Like a fever signaling an infection, maybe our anger signals that the proper order of things has been compromised. There’s a problem to address. And often we want to address it ourselves.

 

Every breathing human has at some point tasted the toxic desire for revenge. When it doesn’t come on its own, we’re not above taking justice into our own hands. Interactive Web sites like www.thepayback.com provide tools for victims plotting and executing retaliation against wrongs suffered. Our passion to make things right often drives us to the point of personal retaliation and vengeance.

 

A wrong.

Anger.

Revenge.

 

How could these things bring us closer to God?

 

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis claims that moral judgments, evident in the anger we feel over a wrong suffered, are perhaps the strongest argument for the existence of a moral God.

 

Does anger at injustice argue the existence of God?

 

If he is a God of justice, and we’re made in his image, perhaps our anger is more than an emotional reaction.

 

Maybe it is a movement toward God.

 

When rage raises its demanding head and grabs the wheel of our lives, we may feel farthest from God. We feel anything but “spiritual.” In reality, however, these may be the moments we are closest to–and maybe even most like–God.

 

Justice matters to us, but it also matters to God. Perhaps that is why we instinctively cry out to him when we experience injustice.

“God, thank you for this sense of justice in my heart.  Thank you for bringing closer to you by sharing with me your intolerance for evil.  Keep me from turning my anger into more evil. May I use his passion and pain as motivation to ask you to change what I cannot change.  I pray this in Jesus’ name.”



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