I know the importance of prayer and asking for God's help, especially when it comes to major decisions. Alcoholism, and the ensuing time in recovery has taught me that God hears and answers every word I say in petition to Him. The problem is, I am impatient, He doesn't answer my prayers fast enough. My lack of patience can certainly cause poor choices. I think, maybe I should have referred to another's idea, you know, seek advice. Maybe I should wait on God a little longer, like when I was new to sobriety...I never got in too big of a hurry.
God is merciful and kind. When I get ahead of Him, make that snap-decision, and wallow in the pain of a terrible choice, He, unlike me, is patient, and when I approach Him for help, He takes the in-solvability of my problems, and gives me the help needed. This is where I, or you and I, must see ourselves as fallible, and need divine directives to live life with real answers, and knowledge how to solve real problems.
"Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe you will receive them, and you will have them." Mark 11:24
The first thing I need to understand regarding prayer is that God hears me. That takes faith. That takes alot of faith. Throughout my life, I have been given that advice...pray. As a child I didn't question that God heard my petitions, and was concerned with my needs. Secular education, and humanistic doctrines of man's origin led my thoughts to believe that as vast as the universe is...how could I continue believing in anything but what science knew to be reality? After all they have proof. My faith waned. I continued to believe in God, but at a great distance from what I believed as a child. I believed in Him in an insulting way.
I discovered through many hardships, some intense study, and by asking God to reveal truth, that science had no real physical evidence of man's origin, science accepts, by faith, man's wisdom in our being, blindly. It takes great faith to believe Darwin's Origin of Species, like faith to believe the Bible. I saw that receiving anything from God required faith to merely ask Him, the answer would follow. It was the desperation of a broken alcoholic, asking God for help with child-like faith, that He looked past my insulting view of Him, and gave me the help I needed. Science cannot do that, so farewell...waste someone else's time.
Since I have departed from very idea that the physical had the answers, and tossed completely aside the faithlessness of coincidence, God has brought so much wonder and awe to life. The impossible has become reality by prayer in faith to God. Things science could not do, create a desire to know the incredible, the peace that transcends any serenity in self-reliance, and the desire to disregard pleasures of self-seeking for the joy of serving others. All of these things are wrought by pray and faith in the Unseen.
The choices a follower of Christ makes, can still be knee-jerk and wrong entirely. We fall, we get up. We sin, sometimes willfully, often unwittingly, and God forgives if...we ask. Ask in faith...in great faith we obtained through Christ's redemption. It is our's in prayer the moment we utter the words. Choose to pray.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men liberally, and without reproach, and it will be given him.. but let him ask in, faith, with no doubting...for let that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his way." Jas. 1:5-8
I can ask God for many things in life. I have learned to be patient and wait on the answer, and I'm glad for the lesson. As I have waited in frustration for an answer to my prayer...my situation changed, I no longer needed what I asked for. God knew. If you and I received everything we asked for the moment we asked; we would see God as a celestial Santa, handing little brats their wants because they want. He is Wisdom, He holds the understanding, ready to distribute to the spiritually needy, thirsting for knowledge of the Holy.
I realize now, that making choices in life are much easier when made with prayer. I hope you feel the same. If not, think about it. By choosing prayerfully, you can save yourself from much grief. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith.