The Talk Place

Blogs with inside information and personal opinions from GRN members around the world

Prayer – further musings

Christine Platt - Tuesday 15 November 2016

I’ve long been interested in prayer. I’ve read many books on the subject. I’ve tried different types of prayer, I’ve prayed and I’ve failed to pray. I know it’s vitally important. Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult. Sometimes I feel like a parrot and then think – surely this can’t be prayer?!?!
Over the last couple of years we at GRN Australia have run at a significant loss. At the same time God has answered prayer consistently with new people, equipment procured, projects funded, problems solved, and work done.
It’s a mystery. I fully believe that God’s work will receive God’s supply. We’ve seen so many answers to prayer of so many kinds. And yet this financial challenge remains. What is God doing? What is he trying to teach us?
I’ve been praying about a replacement vehicle for a few months now. My car needs to go, and yet the process of replacing it seemed too expensive and too hard. So I decided to keep the car until it had a major problem when I was planning on taking it to the wreckers and then working out what to do next.
Last week I received a call from a supporter of the mission asking if we would have a use for his vehicle which he had just updated. An answer to prayer! I rejoiced and gave thanks to him and to God for His provision.
Over the weekend I was pondering this provision and others we have received, and the ongoing gap in our finances. The following things came to mind:
Our Heavenly Father wants to be in relationship with us. He wants us to be relating to Him all the time. I think our ongoing financial need has led us to be more prayerful and to put more effort into our relationship with Him than would have been the case if our budget was balanced.
A relationship is dynamic, ever changing, and requires continuous effort. I’ve discovered (to my horror/amazement) that what I really wanted was a method. Deep down I wanted God to say, “If you do this, I’ll send you the money.” Whereas I believe my Father is saying, “Come and spend time with me, get to know me better (Ps46:10).” Jesus, my brother and Lord and shepherd, is saying “Follow me, I’ll lead you in paths of righteousness for my name’s sake (Ps23:3).”
I’ve come to realise that there is no method. Every problem is unique and has a unique solution. I need to look to my heavenly Father, look to my Lord, and ask for guidance in every situation. I need to follow God’s lead and trust Him with the result. How much better is this, in the context of a relationship, than just doing something mechanically with little thought of God once the method was discerned.
I thank God for this ongoing “problem.” It has brought me, and I think GRN Australia, closer to the God we serve. I hope and pray that we will continue to look to God for guidance in every situation; that we will continue to work on our relationship with our Father and our Lord. I am thankful for the assurance we have of God’s love and desire to be in relationship with us – and for the great privilege of being His co-workers telling the story of Jesus in every language.