Thursday, August 02, 2007

The River of God

I have been thinking and meditating about prayer. Trying to understand what it is, and its place in God’s will and God’s plan. I have a feeling that prayer somehow fits into God’s sovereignty and that we are not automatons. Our prayers do change the course of things. But how?

In my morning devotion today, I think I am beginning to see something. Not visually, like some people do, but an understanding of some sort began to dawn on me.

I thought of the analogy of a river. The river represents the plan of God. It is flowing towards a fixed point, consummating at the very end, where all that God has planned and willed will come to pass. In the meantime, the river is still flowing, at some points fiercely, at some points gently, and some points with lots of twists and turns. To pray or not to pray therefore is to flow or not to flow. You can either jump in the flow or stand by the bank to watch others flow. So whether you choose to pray or not, God’s will will be fulfilled. It’s just a matter of whether you want to be a part of it.

If you decide to be a part of the praying Christians, to be a part of God’s will, to be a part of the struggle and the blessings, jump in. And along the river, at times you may reach a meander. Just imagine, if there are many who are praying, the flow would be so great, the praying so fervent, the rushing flow of prayers will have the river cut straight across bypassing the meander. That is praying in God’s will. God will change the course of the river as we cry out to him, yet it is still heading the same way.

I am not sure if my analogy can be valid but it does give me a better understanding of what prayer is in light of God’s plan and sovereignty.

Picture by Penny Mathews


  1. This is a great metaphor Pearlie! I must give this more thought.

  2. I think that in prayer we are acknowledging that it is God who is in control and anytime we do this, we are praying. We have to let go of our egos to do this, and join in with what God is doing, to jump into the river.

  3. Oh I think that is beautiful Pearlie and really spoke to me.

    Just the other day Mickey and I were talking about life seeming to go in waves. Seems like at times we will experiencing a series of situations and problems and then at other times experiencing one blessing on top of another.

    I made the analogy it was kind of like the tides rolling in and then rolling out. Then I thought, since God created the tides why we would not accept that He would also create the "tides" that flow into and out of our lives.

    Then you post this about the River and it just adds to.

    Hope I made my thoughts clear.

  4. Julia, Susan,
    I am glad you all think so :)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts too. God works wonderfully in our lives even in the not-so wonderful times.

  5. So little time - so MUCH wonderful feeling in these posts. Thank you, Pearlie.

    I have struggled with this over and over, and have even considered that prayer may be a complete waste of God-given life and energy. And then I read the verse that says never to discourage the prayers of His children. (I'd tell you what it was, but I forget.)

    Here's what I keep coming to.

    Prayer is mostly about declaring the God-ness of God. It is mostly praise of His immense tenderness and power, justice and mercy, love and purpose. We tell Him how great He is - not by telling Him how great He is, but by sharing with Him our problems and the little mustard seed of faith we have that He will carry us through.

    God does not promise to fix even one of our problems. But He does promise to get us to heaven safely, maturely, and lovingly. He promises to protect the living Seed He planted in our hearts. So, for every half-hour I pray, I usually get in about 5 minutes of pure praise, 20 minutes of real-world praise/concerns, 5 minutes of straight making my requests known to God, and 40 winks. (American slang for sleeping.)

    Sometimes, He ordains to work in the world miraculously. I don't believe He ever does that alone.

    When Jesus healed on earth, He did it alone - by the power of His faith. The receiver of the miracle had to have faith, too, but the main faith at work was Jesus's. Now, Jesus wants to work still, and He wants to work by faith still, but He does not want to work alone any more. He wants His church to have faith with Him - not just in Him, but with Him.

    Very seldom does Jesus seem to want to work classic miracles. That's cool, but sometimes He does. So, we pray for them, and we pray with faith. But we realize that where His church is established, He would rather work through His church than overshadow it with amazing parlor tricks of healing.

    I think the conquest of the church is the end of most miracles, because God wants to work through the church after it's established.

    But it's not the end of all miracles, so we pray and believe and learn what God wants to do. And when He wants to work directly, He works with us by His faith, plus our, plus that of the receiver.

    I'm sorry to be so hasty, but I really have to rest up for my tennis tournament tomorrow. (What are my priorities, I wonder?) And I'm sorry to take so long to post when your call has been so heavy on my heart. I can read your posts at work, but I cannot comment on them there. My only defense is that I have not even posted on my own site of late. :-)

    Love you sister. May the Lord answer your prayer for prayer!

  6. Codepoke,
    It is so wonderful to have you spend so much on your time on this. I have yet to get into it as we are having some connection problems at home. I will respond later ;)
    Love you too brother!

  7. Possibly and sometimes, I think that prayer is an invitation ... an inviting of God's presence into our life ... inviting Him to walk with us ... an invitation to experience His power when ours has run out ... inviting Him to intervene on our behalf and on the behalf of those who we love so much. Often I think that God is just waiting for a simple invitation to be involved - even saying something like: I can't do it ... God help me. Maybe that is when God jumps into that river with us :)

  8. We must be connected by a spiritual thread! I have been thinking a great deal about God's sovereignty and my role in it. I came to a very similar conclusion. The visual you write about hits the spot!

  9. We must be connected by a spiritual thread!
    Of course we are!! lol
    By the arteries and veins in the body of Christ :) :)