Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

Let Your compassion quickly meet our needs. (Psalm 79:8b)

The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s armies will make this happen! (Isaiah 9:7b)

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What’s God like? What’s your idea of Him? Angry? Preferring judgment and revenge over mercy? Taking what we love away from us to teach us lessons? An angry, one-eyed  schoolmaster with the rod in one hand and a spoonful of nauseating medicine in the other? Is He poised to strike should you get out of line?

It seems like God gets the bum rap for everything bad that happens in the world. Natural disasters are deemed, “An act of God,” as though God goes around gleefully hurting creation like the scary next door neighbor kid in Toy Store.

What is the character of God?

One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard:

Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love. (Psalm 62:11,12)

If you believe God is good, is it possible to believe that He is all-powerful? How can He be both? Otherwise, why do bad things happen? He’s either bad or He’s weak. He can’t be Good and Supremely Powerful simultaneously.

Which is it? Aren’t those two traits incompatible?

God is both. He is Supremely Good and Supremely Powerful.

Bad things happen, in short, because He gave human beings charge of this planet, and we handed it over to the serpent. God lends us help when invited through prayer and our faith, but victory isn’t always achieved this side of Heaven. Whose fault is that?

Ours. We have messed things up for millennia, and it’s our responsibility to set it aright. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the earth restored to the Garden of Eden in one fell swoop and with a handful of petitions!

But we’re working on it!

God has compassion on you, my friend! His passionate commitment to you is to help you, walk with you, give you wisdom, give you joy, forgive all that you have done that you’re not particularly proud of, and restore you to the person He thought up when He put all the pieces of who you are together in your mother’s womb.

All that isn’t good is not God’s fault! Quit blaming Him for people’s choices. Quit blaming Him for your own! Believe in His compassion. Believe in His passionate commitment towards you.

Just too good to be true? Pray this plain and simple prayer…

Father,

I haven’t altogether trusted in Your goodness. I’ve rationalized that distrust to believe that perhaps You’re just beyond my understanding. Well, You are beyond my understanding! Your goodness and kindness and justice and mercy are well beyond all I can comprehend.

“You are good, and Your love endures.” How many times have I read that, sung that, memorized that, declared that, and yet not fully embraced the truth of it?

Today I say it with all my heart: You are good!!!

If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing. (Isaiah 54:15)

 Not all that happens in my life is good, but those things and events are not Your doing. And you recycle all the refuse – all that is worthless – in my life, turning it into something beautiful.

If I need angelic protection today, which I do, I will pray for it.

If I need strength today, which I do, I will ask for it.

If I need healing today, which I do, I will request it and receive it in faith.

I’m asking and I’m believing in Your promises. You are both strong and perfectly loving!

Amen!

You do not have because you do not ask God. (James 4:2)

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