Conversation a while ago with my Pappy, as I can remember (i.e. not word for word, which is okay, cause my dad probably won’t even remember it taking place):
Me: Okay, so you’ve said that God is the initiator: all things come from God.
Me: And we were created to be receivers: all things come from God.
Me: And we spend most of our time falsely believing that we really are in control, but really we should be practicing a posture of receiving from God, of releasing the control stick, of saying “We got nuthin”?
Pappy: That’s what I’ve found to be true.
Me: So, what does that mean for prayer?
Pappy: What do you mean?
Me: Well, say a friend is sick. Should I pray for them? I mean, that’s like *my* idea to pray for them: that’s initiating.
Pappy: Who says that’s your idea?
Pappy: What if your desire to pray for them really is a desire place in your heart by God to intercede?
Me: . . . . Oh. . . . So, how do I pray, though?
Pappy: You could ask for them to be healed: that would be a nice thing to do.
Me: But what if that’s not God’s will? What if God’s allowed the illness to enter their lives for some redeeming purpose? Then praying for them to be healed wouldn’t be the best thing to do.
Pappy: Very true.
Me: So what do I do?
Pappy: Well, I’ve found that prayer is a lot about listening, on both sides.
Me: So I could like visually hold them in the Light and pray for strength to endure?
Pappy: That would be nice.
Me: Huh. . . .
I’m still uncertain how to procede. Today at Bible Fellowship we had a similar discussion: someone was asking God to help them out with something and then realized that God was telling her that her desires were planted in her heart by God, so really it was her joining God’s process rather than the other way around. So then: what does that mean for prayer?
I think Madame Guyon has some insight: “Our activity should consist in placing ourselves in a state of susceptibility to Divine impressions, and pliability to all the operations of the Eternal Word.” If I can ever unpack what that means, or rather if I can receive the meaning of that statement as God unpacks it, I think I’ll really dig it. 🙂