Date: 2/13/2010 11:53 - Subscribe

Whitney Hopler

There are many ways to pray -
many paths of communication that
can lead you closer to God.

Here are some different paths you
can take to prayer:

"Absence": When God feels far away,
recognize that as a normal part of your
spiritual journey, but remember that
God hasn't abandoned you. He has
promised always to be with you, but
when you don't sense His presence,
you're experiencing it in a whole new
way. During the time that you feel
separated from God, He can wean
you from your attachment to immature
thoughts and feelings about Him and
help you grow to eventually see Him
in clearer ways, experience His love
more deeply, and let it flow through
you to others.

"An argument with God": When you
argue with God through prayer, you
can actually grow closer to Him by
engaging with Him in real, raw, and
honest ways. Be humble yet confident
about confronting God about an issue
in your life. God would rather have you
argue with Him than not care enough
to confront Him about what's troubling
you. Feel free to wrestle with God as
part of the process of passionately
pursuing Him. Don't be afraid to tell
God: "I love you, but I'm mad and

"A long, slow journey": When the
answers to your prayers take a long time
to come, you can learn to adjust your
lifestyle to God's timing. Remember that
prayer isn't primarily about getting
something from God right when you
want it; instead, it's about being with
God and allowing Him to change you
in the process. Waiting on God helps
you learn to trust God's good plans for
your life, even when you don't understand
or agree with His timing. Ask God to give
you the strength to be patient while you
must wait.

"A dangerous activity": When God
responds to your prayers by calling you
to grow as a person in uncomfortable ways
or make difficult sacrifices to help others,
praying can seem like a dangerous activity.
But remember that God wants to bless you -
just on His terms, not yours. While you
may pray to be relieved of your cares, God
wants to propel you into spiritual growth and
service. Invite Him to do the work He wants
to do in your soul and through your life.
You'll ultimately benefit in powerful ways
from it.

Adapted from The Folly of Prayer: Practicing the
Presence and Absence of God, copyright 2009 by
Matt Woodley. Published by IVP Books, a division
of InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill.,

(Will Continue)

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