Thursday, January 04, 2018

I am starting my new reading year with this book

Praying Backwards, Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name
by Bryan Chapell

I am still in the midst of reading it but I’m finding it an excellent read. I have had so many questions about prayer and I have blogged before that even though I don’t understand it, I am still praying—and it’s tough sometimes—because God commands us to. 

I found some answers from this book—to some important questions. 

Here are some of the excerpts:

But how are we supposed to pray without doubting? Is it wrong to allow any thought that we might not receive the answer we desire? If so, how do we keep negative thoughts from invading our brain? Isn’t being told not to doubt a little like being told not to think about pink elephants? Once you have been told not to think about something, it’s practically impossible not to think about it...The basic problem with all definitions of believing prayer that make God the servant of our will is that the object of belief is misplaced...The success of our prayers does not lie in exceptional confidence that we have pumped enough of our own faith into our prayer (and extracted enough doubt) so that now God must respond. Our belief must be in God. He, not our desire, is the object of our faith.

Praying in Jesus’ name requires seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness with the absolute trust that God will then add all that is best for us (Matt. 6: 31–33). This is the way that Jesus prayed and the way he taught us to pray. 

All who are so bold as to tell God exactly how to answer are expressing a kind of belief, but it is great faith in human wisdom and faint confidence in our God.

“The better you know the Shepherd, the easier it is to trust his heart.”

And I am in love with any writer that quotes and draws the truth from CS Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia:

In The Magician’s Nephew, C. S. Lewis has his lion king, Aslan, send two children, Polly and Digory, on a mission with Fledge, the flying horse. After a while, they discover they have no food. Polly and Digory are dismayed: “Well, I do think someone might have arranged our meals,” said Digory. “I’m sure Aslan would have, if you’d asked him,” said Fledge. “Wouldn’t he know without being asked?” said Polly. “I’ve no doubt he would,” said the horse. . . . “But, I’ve a sort of idea he likes to be asked.”

We may grow concerned that faith in God’s sovereignty may also tempt us to reason: Why ask if God already knows? doubt he knows what to do, but he likes to be asked. God is like that. He knows what we need before we ask (Matt. 6: 8), but he still likes to be asked. He urges us to pray in ways that deepen our love and trust of him.

Isn’t it an excellent book to start the year with?


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