Wrestling with prayer

Wrestling with prayer

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of prayer, doing a lot of praying too, but really trying to figure out how prayer works, and why prayer works, and I use the word wrestle because that’s what it’s felt like.  I feel like I’m struggling to find balance in my perspective.  There are two extremes:

1) God is in control, we pray for our own benefit, but it does not change anything.  God’s plan is God’s plan, and it’s going to happen that way, no matter if we pray or not.  Prayer only exists for God to change our heart/attitude/behavior, etc.

2) When we pray God always moves.  If He doesn’t it’s because we didn’t pray or didn’t pray with enough faith.

Now both extremes are flawed.  That much I know, but I’m struggling to find that balance.  How can I comprehend that God who is absolutely all powerful and in complete control, also allows my prayers to matter and affect change without making him any less in control? It’s confusing, and I don’t really have any answers right now.

Yesterday I was at my brother’s house hanging out with him and the kids, and watching the closing ceremonies of the olympics.  At one point in the evening, Lukey was trying to pick up a larger toy from a pile of toys, but it was kind of stuck in the pile and wasn’t coming, and Lukey was starting to get frustrated.  Now Luke is 2, and although he’s able to talk, he doesn’t always use his little vocabulary to communicate, but still relys on the crying and screaming, something that I know his parents are trying to work on with him.  So as he got frustrated, that’s what he started doing, getting mad and angry, and looking at me like why don’t you help me, and really just starting to pitch a fit.  I looked down at him and very quietly told him to calm down, let him know he just needed to ask for help.  His dad, looked over and told him the same thing.  We both repeated it a few times, coaching him on how to ask for help, but he refused, and consequently didn’t get any help from either one of us.

But, a little later in the evening, Lukey pulled out another toy.  It was a large drum filled with other kinds of instruments.  He was struggling to get the lid off, but this time instead of pitching a fit, and getting angry, he looked up and with a sweet look on his face, said “hewp?”. And even though I wasn’t crazy about the idea of him playing with loud toys while I was trying to watch TV, I just couldn’t resist but to take the lid off simply because he asked me to help.

I’ve been wondering if that’s not a great picture of me and God sometimes.