DO//LOVE//WALK

Prayer Requests and the things I cannot do

The other day I was praying out of my huge list of prayer requests.

Cruz

To have a better control of my prayers I use (and love) the Reminders‘ app provided by Apple. There I can register a request under a specific list and then when God has answered it I mark it as completed. By the way, there is also a Completed List in the App which makes it easier to remember the many answered prayers and remind yourself that God indeed is active, He does answer our prayers and works for His glory! (I might expand on my prayer list system on another day 🙂 )

Since things to pray for come up throughout the day I usually tend to carry my iPod everywhere, this way I can keep my prayer requests updated. So I end up reviewing this list almost 5 times a day, it’s part of my life! This special list is filled with other people’s names and has a variety of issues that I pray about. For example:

Prayer list

These are the most general ones, others have names, dates, specific facts etc.

My requests might seem for the best interest of others and that I care for God’s glory ultimately. So, I think that what I’m asking God is legitimately good, honorable, true, and would ultimately work for His praise. I mean isn’t it good for a teenage boy who ran away from home to go back to his parents’ care? Wouldn’t it show God’s power in restoring a marriage? Doesn’t it display God’s love and care in keeping all the churches in México on sound doctrine and with a fervent passion for His kingdom? Wouldn’t this make others see His glory and holiness, and want to praise Him even more? At least this is what my near-sighted view lets me think.

The problem comes when some of those requests are not answered. It most likely meant God had bigger and better plans. But…How do I respond to that? How do I respond to God’s timely silence, or His sovereign ‘no’? There are a number of ways I could be reacting to this, but yesterday’s response was simply this…I acknowledged a simple, basic truth which is essential to the Christian living. We learn this the moment God regenerates our spirit, and we need to be reminded of it, over and over. For me it was yesterday.

This is what I prayed and acknowledged before God…

God here are the things I cannot do:

I cannot change people’s minds, I was never able to do so, today is no different.
I cannot direct the heart, where it might turn or go, I could never do it, now even less.
I cannot keep my loved ones safe from harm, from falling into temptation, I could never do it, I can’t even now.
I cannot control the way anyone thinks of me or my family, I never could, now even less.
I cannot make people see the blessings missed out because of sin, I couldn’t before, now even less.
I cannot make love spring from a heart, I am completely incapable.
I cannot produce any godliness, I couldn’t then, now even less.
I cannot make people rejoice in You or seek Your love again, I simply cannot.
I cannot control who will cross paths with who, I never controlled this in my life even.
I cannot control the past I can’t control the present nor the future.
I cannot make others taste and see that it is good to trust God, I can’t even control my next breath!

Only God can do all that!!

What kind of power is that!! Even if I pray the most selfless, God-honoring prayer, it will always be God acting and not me. Thankfully He hears our pleas and gives ear to our requests, He invites us to approach His throne of grace so that we might receive help and mercy in our time of need! So I started praying in light of that, I know I cannot…that’s why I come to You… It was refreshing and liberating, He is the One that carries our burdens because He cares for us!

Our security is not found in being in control, but being under the control of the One whose purposes can never be defeated -Dr. Bill Thrasher

 

God controls our hearts, He controls our steps, our thoughts, our mistakes, our growth, our life!
We are subject to His grace, to His favor, and we can rest and trust Him because He is love, He is merciful and the greatest Comforter!
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DO//LOVE//WALK

We can be someone else’s answer to prayer

to Whom shall we go

A couple of nights ago I was wallowing on how some prayers that were dear to my heart had not been answered, or the answer had been ‘no’. I was discouraged, focusing on the wrong things and having a pity party for myself. Silly, I know! But there I was being sad about things that didn’t really have to make me feel like that. Then I remember praying almost not wanting to be heard by God and not expecting an answer to this little secret prayer. I was realizing of my heart’s estate and wrong focus that I asked God to humble me and comfort me at the same time. I prayed while going upstairs, looking down, almost grumbling, I just exhaled that little simple prayer not giving it much thought. As I took the next step the phone rings and it’s for me!

My childhood friend that lives far away and had been battling a chronic disease was at the phone! It was a little bit of a surprise and not. The weekend before, her and her mom were supposed to come over and visit us, but they couldn’t. Two weekends earlier had been her birthday, and I missed it. I had to be the one calling her, but there she was waiting for me at the other end of the line.

It was such a pleasant conversation, she was so encouraging, she was doing better about her disease, she was being strengthened even through those fearsome trials in her life. We laughed and rejoiced, we talked about trials and even about some pleasant surprises! All in all a very edifying convo with her, as usual.

After I hung up, my heart was humbled, more like humiliated, and comforted. Did she know I needed that call? I’m not sure. But I trust a sovereign God, so there is no room for coincidences. God knows what I need, when I need it.

Today I needed to remember in a tangible way how God answers our prayers through other people. Other times He answers other people’s prayers through us. Through me. What a blessing that is! We can be His hands and feet, ears and eyes, arms and mouth for others to feel Him, to receive His love in a tangible way. May we keep humbling ourselves before Him who cares for us and looking for opportunities to love others as He loves them.

How have you been comforted lately in a tangible way?

 

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JOYFUL RAMBLINGS

My dad: My hero: My prayer

I have always looked up to my dad.

Specially as a child when my family and I retreated every winter to find summer at the beach. I always knew, when the sun beams made everything turn to gold that’s when we went out for a long walk by the shore to make the days last longer. Hopping and jumping behind my parents’ shadows, my tiny feet looked for the big footprints to follow. Those would keep my feet in solid ground (or sand). From time to time I would get confused and start following someone else’s footprints on the sand and would eventually end up going straight to the water.

Here I am 20 years later playing the same game. Following after my dad because I know he is following our Heavenly Father.

Walking by the sea shore, following on my dad’s footsteps, without a care in the world.

20 years later...following him around Venice

20 years later…following him around Venice

Note: Some family traditions are fun to keep. 🙂

And so this is my prayer for my dad and for my brother. For the men in my family. For those I have come to admire. Men who have made an impact in my life. For the men at my church, for those in my community, men who have had their families for decades and know that it’s not always easy to lead like Christ, for men who are new in this role, for men who are yet to become fathers and husbands, for men who have gone through hard times and know they are weak but found strength in Christ.

Psalm 112

Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!

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