Why Pray?

There are times when I feel pressed to pray for our children, this adoption, and Ethiopia in such a way that I just can’t shake. Now is one of those times.

If God is sovereign and has goodness in store for us — why would we need to pray some of the prayers we’ve been uttering before Him recently …bring our children home, and soon … redeem that nation … heal the oppressed and the impoverished … touch our children’s hearts with the notion that You love themlet them know You.

I mean, God wants these things already, right — He came to redeem. Part of His stated mission is to “lift the poor out of the dust” and “place the lonely in homes.” So, why should we pray? (Letting you into my inner-dialogue).

I have to admit my first response is because I actually enjoy it. It reminds me that I haven’t begun a relationship like that of an employee to an employer — where we confer on important matters and talk when necessary and I make sure he/she believes I’m on course with my work.

He’s my Father. And prayer seems to tap into a place in me that was made to engage. And yes, even, made to feel at times.

But not a far second to that is we pray because He wants us to. I so often wrestle with seeing Him like a judge — waiting for me to bring my case before Him and then submitting to a “ruling” as a result. Yes, He does judge. But He is a Father. And He also says in scripture He is a husband. He created us to commune and–even sweeter–out of that communion, He does respond.

He heard Abraham when Abraham boldly asked Him to spare Sodom — even if only ten righteous were left. You might even say God “changed” His plan because of the prayers of Abraham. And when the disciples asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray”, after He gave them His own prayer to pray He told a story about a man asking his friend in the middle of the night for a loaf of bread. The friend was grumpy, as you can imagine, and told him to go away. Jesus then said the friend eventually responded to this request …because of the man’s persistence. (And I can’t help but somehow link how the bible says that God spoke to Moses “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.”)

Could it be there are some things God holds off …so that we will pray … or even until we pray? Could it be that He wants the back-and-forth that comes out of prayer?

So this morning, as we both wake up to the longing to have these children home and safe, we can’t help but pray. Maybe mostly because it just makes sense to sit before Him … to wait on Him … to voice our request and to see what He might speak in return. But also because we know that He made us for partnership. He enjoys our prayers. He enjoys us.

Sometimes His response is immediate. And others–like this particular prayer to grow our family–has been four years in coming. At times the prayers have felt empty, un-heard and God has seemed unresponsive. But at other times, we sense the still small voice saying press on, don’t quit, I am preparing a glorious response for you.

And in retrospect had we been granted our hearts’ desires for a family when we first started asking, God might still look a lot like that employer, waiting to give us our quarterly review.

So would you pray with us today? The best place I’ve found for my most-often-times-cold heart to start  has been His word. My words oftentimes seem to fall short of those which the God of the universe gave me …

So this morning we are praying this:

7 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;

8 he seats them with princes,
with the princes of their people.

9 He settles the barren woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the LORD.

Psalm 113

For whatever reason this week the urgency has grown — later, I believe, we may find out what’s been happening on the other side of the world and how it coincides with specific times that God prompted us to pray. Please pray with us that God would bring them home!