Serious question about prayer.......

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Scarlett O., Jul 21, 2007.

  1. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    There is a prayer request for a small child in the Ladies' Private Forum that is not suitable to relate here in mixed company. (Just pray for "baby boy age 3)

    In my praying for him and considering all the other people around the world who are abused and who cannot protect themselves.....the children, the weak, the elderly, the mentally retarded, etc.....I just get overwhelmed and depressed.

    Once in my Sunday School class (I teach the senior adult women) one of my members was upset because she suspected that her granddaughter was being neglected and didn't know what to do. I told her that the very least she could do is to pray every morning, "God, protect those who will suffer today." I did advise her some other things, but I digress....

    From time to time, I do pray that God will protect those who are going to suffer today and I do make "blanket" requests such as "bless all of the missionaries today".

    But I found myself, in praying for this abused boy and thinking of all the horrid, horrid things that some people endure every single day, I found myself praying this morning to God that He would shield all of these people who cannot protect themselves from suffering.

    Then my burdened mind couldn't help but think that while we are in this horrible world, suffering is just part of the general consequences of sin and it's not that God can't take away the suffering or won't, but that this world is set on a course of self-destruction of our own making and God's timing is God's timing and He isn't going to take us away from here until He so chooses.

    I know that God is sickened by the suffering He sees and I know that He does protect people so MANY, MANY times. But He doesn't protect all of the people all of the time.

    So I found myself praying again, but this time, as my heart was torn up for this child and for all of the pitiful people ravaged by abuses untold, I found myself asking God that for those who were not to be spared from suffering today that He would somehow take their "spirits" or their "minds" somewhere else and that they wouldn't have to experience it mentally or emotionally.

    My question is......is that a valid prayer?

    What is the prayer of the mature Christian for all of the people across the world who are going to experience horrible abuses tomorrow, July 22, 2007?
     
  2. npetreley

    npetreley
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    That's a really difficult one, Scarlett.

    I've been through the same sort of emotional struggle. I remember when my daughter was less than 1 yr old I heard or read something that disturbed me so much. I looked at my daughter and realized that some child out there just like her was hurt beyond belief. I couldn't even allow myself to entertain the thought of it happening to my daughter.

    Why does God allow stuff like this to happen? I don't know. Intervene when it is possible, pray when it's not. Any prayer is a valid prayer if it is in harmony with the will of God. I can't tell you if our prayers are in harmony with God's will or not. God knows your heart, regardless, and it is a good thing to share your grief with Him. The fact that you are grieved over things like this is a good sign.
     
  3. TCGreek

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    1. Great counsel, npetreley.

    2. I am touched by the gravity of it all.

    3. Thanks.
     
  4. abcgrad94

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    I think your prayer is valid, Scarlett. While I don't think God will take someone's spirit elsewhere so they don't experience pain, I do believe in praying for protection of our minds and thoughts. God knows your heart. He knows what you're trying to say even if you don't know exactly which words to use. There have been times when I've cried out to the Lord and couldn't say anything but "Help." I'm glad He knew that one word covered many concerns and complaints!
     
  5. Hopeful

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    Yes, what abcgrad94 said! Scarlett, I read your OP late, late last night and was so very moved, both for the object of your prayer, and for you in wrestling with the "how" of that prayer. To look (from your human vantage-point) upon the pain and hurt of the many around the world and to empathize so fully that you cannot express yourself is truly, IMHO, "what Jesus would do" (to use a very overly-used, but incredibly useful phrase). To hurt for the world IS what Jesus did.....so praying for its pain must surely be a valid prayer, and certainly "God knows your heart".
     
  6. Helen

    Helen
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    Scarlett, I once had about four days of pain that morphine could not touch. I passed out from pain and woke up from pain. During that time, my mind was 'drifting'. The human consciousness can only absorb so much stress and then you sort of 'check out.' So yes, that is a very valid prayer.

    Why does God allow it? I know one reason (although I am sure there is more than one). It is to show the world "THIS is what you have become without Me." It is to shock some people, at least, back to a sense of basic morality and, hopefully, into the arms of the Creator.

    My prayer through all these horrors is that God be somehow glorified and that there may be some who, because of whatever is going on, FINALLY respond to God.

    In some ways, the worst is not the physical pain victims of any kind of abuse suffer -- it is when the children not only go through it but end up losing the ability to trust, respond positively, hope. Children who eventually become numb emotionally and perhaps too angry and/or defensive to do anything but strike out against a world that has betrayed them.
     
  7. Analgesic

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    I think a prayer like that falls under the same category of any other "God, please..." prayer, in that it's about one expressing their recognition of God's sovereignty and our dependence on Him. In that sense it's completely legitimate.
     
  8. Benjamin

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    And even then God can, and still does, touch their hearts and shows them the meanings of His love which does restore hope. Keep praying Scarlett.
     
  9. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    These replies have meant very much to me. I mean that. Thank you for them all. And thanks to the one who sent me the scripture passages in a PM.

    It has relieved my heart a little to hear someone else say that God understands what your heart feels even when you can't formulate the words. I knew that, but needed to hear someone else say it.

    My weakness in this area comes from the fact that I write a lot and speak a lot and words come easily to me, but sometimes when I am praying, I cry and blubber and stutter and words just aren't formulated easily and it's frustrating not to be able to make myself coherent to God like I wish that I could. And my carnal mind gets fooled into thinking that if I am not making sense to myself, then God doesn't understand what I am trying to say to Him. As I said, that is a weakness of mine.

    And Helen, thanks for the reminder that the body has a built-in mechanism for dealing with the grotesquely unbearable.

    I still get angry when I think of people suffering who cannot protect themselves and I am still under a burden today, but I feel comforted by reading these replies and am grateful for the responses.

    God bless you all and God bless those who will suffer today.
     
  10. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    When I suffered my first stroke, I was left paralyzed down the right side and including my speech. I could not speak coherently for three years.

    I determined that prayer is not what we ask for, but what God says to us. It is communion with God. As Jesus once prayed, "Not my will, but Thine be done..." I firmly believe that the more we pray, the more we realize the will of God in our lives, and this is what prayer is all about. God reads my heart whether I utter the words or not, and He does His marvellous work in and through us.

    In my Anglican days, I often entered the church, knelt down in the pew and just stayed there...I don't know how long....Nothing was said, but I presumed to be kneeling before God waiting on Him. That too was prayer.

    Cheers, and God bless,

    Jim
     
  11. npetreley

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    Amen to that.
     

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