Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wanted: Your Opinions on Either/Or Situations… Is praying for both outcomes a long winded Pater Noster

Pater Noster is another way of saying the Lord’s Prayer, and I was wondering of I was mimicking this the other night as I ended one of my prayers… I was praying for a friend’s family as they go through a rough time. As time goes on, all I can do is watch and pray. And as I see it, they are in a deep valley that is testing their strength and pushing them to limits that is personally too much to bear. As I watch things unfold, one thing is clear: their troubles are taking a toll on their kid. Their child is lashing out in anger and frustration. I’m concerned for the child’s future and how this deep valley is affecting their faith in God.

I’ve heard stories of people who once had a relationship with God, went through a traumatic childhood experience and now denounce God any chance they get. They tell me God didn’t hear them when they were a kid so why should they give Him any attention now? If He did hear them, He didn’t intervene so forget God and everything He stands for. This is one of my concerns for the young family. As the child gets older, this trauma will fuel the child’s separation from God.

But as much as I’ve heard people share their frustration and anger toward God during a rough time, I’ve also had people tell of great struggles and how they cling to God in times of great need. During these times the Lord is all they have. Despite being surrounded by darkness and despair, these people refuse to give up believing in God. Enduring their trauma while seeking the Lord, has solidified or affirmed their faith in Him. Now living on the other side of their deep valley, they come out stronger and have a more intimate relationship with the Alpha and Omega then before.

There are times I don’t know what to pray for, but I am concerned. I know there is pain involved so I pray for healing whenever I think about it. I pray for the child that the hurt and pain they feel would dissipate. I also hope and pray that God would protect the child’s faith and they would get stronger instead of walking away. Truth be told, I have no idea what the future holds for this young family; nor do I know if this difficulty will be too much for the young one to bear.

As much as I hate to admit it, it is possible for the young one to walk away scathed and angry at God for not lifting them out of the deep valley. So I pray in the event that the child abandons God that their story would be like that of the prodigal son. Though they have wandered away, the Lord would keep his hand on them to restore what once was lost.

As I ended the prayer, I found myself praying in the event of both outcomes. If the kid walks away bring the young'un back, but if the kid chooses to hang in their and walk with God through the valley give’em strength. Then I began to wonder … is it ok that I pray this way? Is it demonstrated in scripture? What about the Lord’s Prayer? Particularly this part:

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Matt 6:10

Are Jesus’ words here a simpler way of saying “Dear God, in an either/or situation, be in BOTH!”… HMMM

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