Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jesus Sleeping

I love this blog post on Jesus Sleeping on the boat and the disciples waking Him.

I love the distinction it makes between waking Jesus due to a distrust that He would take care of the problem and waking Jesus because of a trust He will take care of the problem.

I am a big believer in persistant prayer. I haven't always been, but the Lord has flooded my life over the past year with verses, quotes, articles, etc on praying persistantly and constantly and believing the Lord can answer. Often times in reformed circles we focus so much on God's will that I think if I pray once for healing or provision and it does not come, certainly the answer is no and I must accept it. I think that scripture is pretty clear that you must ask to recieve and that there is something that happens with persistant prayer. Surely God could give me the answer yes or no immediately. He could step in and solve all of my problems this very minute, but what I would lose in exchange for that is too great. The time I spend praying and coming to Him with petitions AND thanksgiving is a bigger blessing than the answer I seek. So while I want to accept God's no's, I try not to think every prayer that does not immediately result in a friend's healing, a spouse, salvaging of a friendship, overcoming of a certain sin, etc is a No...sometimes these answers come after years of prayer and sometimes the prayer changes us.

In this article, the author makes the point that Jesus could have been rebuking them for the unbelief that led them to wake Him in the first place..or He could be upset not for the waking but the fear they showed once they awoke. I have no theological backing for this, but I believe its the latter. I think He rebuked them because they woke Him due to their fear and lack of trust. Andree Seu points out that the story could have been different...they could have woken Him because of the scary circumstances with the intention of having Him fix things.

At that point, maybe Jesus would have said to them that they came to the right person to calm the storm, that they had faith in the only person who could calm the storm. Thats not how the story goes, of course...but I think its an interesting thought in how we approach Christ....See, they were rebuked for little faith, not "no faith" or "nonexistant faith".

Isn't that us? Or more importantly, isn't that me? I have some faith. I pray for people and for myself believing God could possibly redeem, heal, provide. But, I often times pray, rather persistantly, but with a belief that it probably won't happen. I think I view it in percentages...maybe there is a 20 percent change that God will step in and save the day....so if I pray enough about enough things, then maybe one out of five requests will be answered...one loved one won't die. One relationship will be saved...but certainly God can't save them all.

I have little faith, some faith -- afterall, just like the disciples, I come to the right person, even if I come anxiously, with doubt and with fear. But Christ would rebuke me, too, for having too little.

The author states, "When I pray to God, I should never pray in an anxious He-loves-me He-loves-me-not way, but with confidence and anticipatory thanksgiving." That hit home. Thats how I pray...Lord, maybe could you provide healing for this relationship, if you are not too busy... Maybe could you heal ____ of this disease, if you so desire...

Why not pray boldly? Why not wake Jesus on the boat and say "There is a storm, please calm it. I know you can! I know you are the only person who can!"

I still understand that not every storm in life will be calmed the way I want or even calmed at all. Sometimes the Lord will help me through that storm BUT it will still remain. However, why wouldn't I come to the only person who can calm the storm in Trust and Belief that He can calm the storm? What good is my persistant prayer if I don't really believe the Lord will step in? Why am I praying at all? Just because I think its right?

Phil 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let yoru requests be known to God."

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