How Do You *Do* When You’re Supposed to Receive?

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.

Pappy:  Yep.

Me:  And we were created to be receivers:  all things come from God.

Pappy:  Yep.

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?

Me:  Me.

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. 🙂

2 thoughts on “How Do You *Do* When You’re Supposed to Receive?

  1. Scott Cornwall

    Hello AJ,

    I bet you had no clue I was reading your blog, but now you do.

    Anyway, a few thoughts: I think that often we think in terms of doing prayer right. I know I go there often. I hear that somewhat in your statements. Is prayer really about getting it right? Or is it coming to God as we are, opening up our heart, and listening for God’s heart?

    To use your example and make it more personal, years ago my grandpa suffered a stroke which paralyzed his whole left side. My aunt came over every day for a year to pray with my grandpa, that he would be healed. After a year of tireless prayer, God spoke to my aunt’s heart saying, “If I heal him, he won’t need me.” So, after that her prayer changed. A year or so after that my grandpa found a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, a truer healing in his life.

    Now, the question is did my aunt waste a year of prayer? I don’t think so. God knew her heart of love for her dad. God understood what drove her asking for healing. And God was able, I think because of her devotion in prayer, to speak God’s heart to her. Did she do it wrong by asking for the wrong thing? Actually, I believe God delivered exactly what my aunt prayed for, the healing of my grandpa. It just didn’t come in the package that she first envisioned. And actually it was ultimately more beautiful than any of us could have thought.

    My grandpa died a few years later, his body never recovering, but spiritually restored.

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