Are there things we should not pray for because they are out of our hands?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    I had to ask this after reading the response from another member in a different thread regarding prayer.

    When is prayer not warranted? When should we just throw up our hands and admit the situation is too difficult for us, so it must be too difficult for God, so we just let it be?

    I happen to see prayer and the time for prayer is not just when it is safe to pray. I pray for the little things as well as the impossible. And by impossible I am not saying to pray for a new Mercedez. Or a million dollar lotto win. I am talking about praying for the the kind of things that will bring God the glory when the answer comes.

    What are your thoughts on this attitude towards prayer? Are we supposed to access the situation and let that accessment determine what we pray for as well as how we pray?
     
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  2. annsni

    annsni
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    Praying without ceasing kind of tells me that I'm to just speak to God as often as I possibly can about anything. I find oftentimes I will just talk to Him not making a request but almost having a discussion. Talking things through, you know? Nothing is too hard for God and in those situations where I'm not going to get the answer I want, I can pray that God will grow me and sanctify me through the disappointment. :)
     
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  3. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Ultimately .... it's ALL out of our hands - even on our best days.

    A few weeks ago, I had two friends [who didn't know each other] who ironically were in the critical care unit - with the same deathly problem [infection in the brain] and whose rooms were right next to each other.

    I went to visit the one and saw the other one's family in the room next door. I knew the second was in the hospital, but not with such a grave problem.

    Anyway, there they both were - unresponsive, arms and legs retrained, on machines, and bordering on life and death, and families devastated and worried sick. I cried that morning before going to the hospital to see the one. I cried while praying for both of them in the hospital. And I cried when I got back home for them both.

    Those two women's very lives were most definitely out of my hands. But I prayed and prayed and prayed.

    Today, one is back at work - a "walking miracle" as we call her! Literally!

    The other is in the ground. Dead and buried.

    I can't imagine not praying during these past four weeks. My prayers weren't always the same and I didn't always know what to say to God, but we talked about it and I pleaded with him nonetheless. And I accept his will in both cases.
     
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  4. heisrisen

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    Great post. The bible says to make our supplications be made known to God. And we don't know what his answer will be. We are just supposed to cast all of our cares on him and he'll take care of it. God can do anything and work anything out. We just must not ask amiss just to fulfil our own lusts.
     
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  5. MB

    MB
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    The things I pray for most are the things that are out of my hands. Especially those things that are in God's hands. Though I always trust the Lord and His will for His resolve rather than mine. I believe He wants to hear from us. I believe we should all pray always and about what ever is on our hearts.He already knows in advance what you're going to say but your prayer is an acknowledgement of His leading
    MB
     
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  6. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    I'll be honest, there are some issues which I don't feel the need to constantly remind the Lord about, lol. Certain things I think we can ask once and know He has heard and that it is then in His hands. I am not sure I could actually say there is anything so out of our hands we couldn't offer up prayer about it/them, though we might argue praying for Satan's salvation might be an example. But prayers in that vein would be praying outside of the known will of God, in my view.

    Now let me ask you (or anyone that wants to answer) a question: should we close our eyes or speak out loud when we pray (are praying alone, obviously, lol)?


    God bless.
     
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  7. JohnDeereFan

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    I think it's the things that are out of our hands we should pray about the most. The point of prayer isn't to change God's mind or convince Him to do something but to discipline ourselves and align our will with His.
     
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  8. StFrancis

    StFrancis
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    I think that we should not be specific in our prayers. If we can pray for good life then God knows what entails of good life, good cars, a good house and living a disease free life. We must also not get tired while waiting for God to fulfil our prayers. He knows best how he can make our life better, we must not forget that.
     
  9. annsni

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    See, I don't want to live a good life. If a good life includes good cars, good houses and living disease free then 99% of the world's population does not have a good life. I don't want to live a good life - I want to live a life that is glorifying to God.

    We CAN be specific in our prayers - to not do so is really kind of lying to God. We have desires, we have things that we need to cry out to God for and He knows that. When we realize what our prayers are specifically, we can see God either answering those prayers or changing us in a way that changes our prayers. My daughter was ill - seriously ill - and my prayer was very specific: heal her and bring God glory. That prayer was answered in a very big way so that even the doctors knew that it was God's hand that healed her. I prayed specifically when I wanted to homeschool and my husband refused. I prayed that God would either change my heart or his. He changed his and I'm currently in my 19th year of homeschooling. :) Praying specifically is important. God already knows our heart - why not actually communicate that heart with Him?
     
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  10. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Hi, St.Francis -

    I have to agree with annsni that praying for the "good life" isn't my prayer either - for myself or anyone else. Yes, you are right, God does know what we need. He also wants of to pray. We are commanded to pray and taught how to pray. We are taught to pray all by ourselves and with others corporately. And we are taught to pray specifically. All of this is in the bible.

    Jesus prayed very specifically when he prayed - for himself and for others. I believe we are to emulate Christ in prayer. At the end of Luke 18, when the blind man cried out to Jesus to "have mercy" on him, Jesus knew the man was blind and needed a healing of this sight. But Jesus asked the man, "what exactly do you want me to do?" And the man cried out, "give me my sight". And Jesus did.

    Also, in Luke 18 (at the beginning), Jesus tells a parable about not only specific prayer, but persistent prayer on specific things. In the parable, a widow woman was being harassed by someone and she wanted a local judge to give her justice in this situation. She kept on and on and on until he honored her very specific request. Jesus said that prayer is like this.

    He didn't want his disciples - or us today - to give up in prayer when we have a specific burden. And in Luke 11, after he gives us the model prayer with individual aspects of what our prayers should consist of, he gives another parable on persistent and specific prayer.

    The parable was that a man comes to your house at night asking very specifically for three loaves of bread. You say "no, my family is all in bed asleep". But the guy won't stop knocking on your door until you get up and give him him the three loaves of bread. Jesus goes on to say that prayer is like that - "ask, seek, knock....." and keep on doing so.

    Sometimes we don't know what to pray for. The bible says that the Holy Spirit petitions God on our behalf. And sometimes we don't know what others need - so we can pray generically on occasion. When I pray for missionaries, unless I know them personally, I pray - "Keep your missionaries across the world safe and fruitful today. Soften the hearts of the people they will encounter today."

    And for Pastor Saeed Abedini who has been in prison in Iran since 2012 and has suffered, I pray very specifically. I pray for him to be delivered from abuse and torment. I pray for him to find favor with his captors and that they will have softened hearts and will listen to him. I pray for his release and that when he is released that God receive great glory from it. And I pray for his family here in the United States that they be given peace of mind and comfort in knowing that God is in control.

    And finally, my prayers for myself and my family are specific. When I pray for forgiveness, I cite the wrongs I did. I know what triggers the tension between my mother and myself and I pray - mostly for me (I'm prone to a smart mouth) - when I know those triggers are coming up that God will deliver me from acting on those specific things.

    I know that sometimes when we don't know details - we have to pray generically. But most of the time, we do know at least some details about ourselves and others. Christ prayed specifically - MANY times - and we should pray like he did.
     
    #10 Scarlett O., Oct 15, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
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  11. Deacon

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    "Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’” 1 Samuel 3:14 NIV

    We had a good discussion about this verse during a group study recently.
    Sometimes God has already made a decision regarding a matter and nothing will change the results.

    Rob
     
  12. revmwc

    revmwc
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    We should not pray that God will help us win a ball game, just for the safety of the players. We should not ask Him to help us win the lottery or a raffle, so there are some things we shouldn't pray for
     
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  13. MB

    MB
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    Mat 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    To pray in secret suggest to me to pray silently. Going into a closet suggest it's in private. Though I don't have to go into a closet for it to be in secret. I pray mostly where I am and at the moment I need to pray. Silently as I'm having a conversation with my Lord with in myself.
    MB
     
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  14. MB

    MB
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    To pray for what God has promised seems unnecessary to me. God takes care of me and it always seems like a miracle to me. I believe if we trust the Lord He will make sure we have what we need. In a way it's much like being rich, not in money but in the riches of His Grace. He is far more Graceful towards me than I deserve. I depend on Him and He see's to my needs.
    MB
     
  15. SovereignGrace

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    Scarlett O....

    Ultimately .... it's ALL out of our hands - even on our best days.

    This was what I was going to say. You are a smart cookie! ;)

    No, but wonderful post.

    ETA: I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your friend. :( My heart goes out to you and my prayers up to Him.
     
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  16. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    This is in contrast to the self glorifying efforts of others, not something I would say creates a Golden Rule, lol. But I agree in large part. My wife and I pray together, and we pray with people when we go to the Hospital, and in other situations. I take a position that praying in public is okay in situations like that, and it presents a good testimony to those who might observe. If we go out, we pray before our meal. Usually the waitress will wait until we are done if she comes up on us while we are. It isn't done because we want others to think we're special, but because that is just our custom, and we would pray whether it was in a private or public setting. I actually feel like I'm doing the Lord a disservice if I do not pray on occasions like these. Had a couple of times where out of the blue someone has asked me to pray, and sometimes, I'll admit, I was hesitant at first.

    We pray as a congregation in my fellowship like most do.

    That one issue would probably make a good thread.


    God bless.
     
  17. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Just curious if in the discussion this statement was spoken in an eternal perspective, meaning, eternal judgment for the house of Eli?

    I would just suggest that in view is physical punishment, rather than eternal, primarily because the truth is...no sin was ever atoned for by sacrifice and offering. Under Old Testament Economies atonement and remission of sins was obtained by the God ordained method of procurement, but that was meant only for those times (Ages). They were given until Christ Himself, Whose Sacrifice alone could make atonement on an eternal basis.

    I agree, though, that there are times when w already know the answer to something we might want to pray about. Because we are given the answer already in His Word.


    God bless.
     

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