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Circumstances for Clapping Hands is a blog about reasons to give praise to God, despite my circumstances. As Henry David Thoreau once addressed, “There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself.” The challenges: 1) Find value in everything you do and 2) Find joy in doing it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Purpose In Prayer

I’ve once heard it said, “In the midst of uncertainty, God always remains certain.”

The Bible is full of situations and circumstances where individuals encounter varying levels of uncertainty. Some endured ridicule, others starvation, and many more the threat of injury or loss of life. What I find most interesting, is that when levels of uncertainty intrude upon our daily activities, we miss the opportunity to learn from biblical examples.

What’s the point? A frustrating truth that has taken hold within many Christian circles is the notion that God equals immediate prosperity. But biblically, that’s not always the case.

Moses and his time spent communicating with God, never physically entered the Promised Land. Job in all his faith was agonizingly tortured, Jeremiah beaten, Zechariah stoned, and even the disciples were ridiculed. Why? I believe to prove that prayer reveals God's plan for you...not necessarily your plan for you.

One important point I would like to make clear is that the action of prayer, though always offering an immediate response, does not always offer one that is agreeable to you. The purpose of living by faith is to improve our trust, most noticeably towards God’s opinion or plan. Through the act of prayer, God reveals himself more intimately, and his plan for our lives.

By living God’s will, many who faced difficulty have been blessed for their faith. No, not immediately but eternally and that’s the point. By living simply and following God, each was exalted. I believe the author of the book of Hebrews said it best when he remarked, “Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking.” This is a pivotal statement when examining the value of prayer. Perhaps we should listen to what is being said, even if it’s not what we want to hear. Even better, perhaps we should follow.

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