I follow the Sullivan's blog. I don't know if you remember but a few months ago I posted on a young family where the mother had died of breast cancer just a few weeks after the birth of her little girl Chloe, leaving the father a widower with a baby. He just posted on prayer, and I thought it was really special and so I wanted to share it with you!
Please take a moment to read here. By the way... I got Nick the same Willow Tree piece for Christmas. Its called "The New Father, in awe and wonder of what's to come..." I cry every time I look at it! It reminds me so much of my lean, brown haired boy (whose wife always makes him wear green sweaters)!
I'm not nearly as articulate as he is, but I want to add one more thing about prayer. I pray for a lot of reasons. When I get too frustrated from following politics and I just feel ungrounded and unfocused, spending time with my Lord is the only way I know how to fill my heart with peace over what is happening. I'm reminded of the goodness of the one I serve and how small all of these seemingly HUGE problems that face our nation are in comparison to the God of Israel.
I pray and ask for things! I know that God will not always answer my prayers, but there are countless verses where he has ordered me to ask... and I have no problem being obedient in this area of my faith :).
I have also found that I need to just believe what God has said. We tend to rationalize that when God makes a promise in his Word, that maybe it was just in that situation or in that context that it was true. But, we think, it couldn't actually be true in my life?
The lesson that God has had to teach me over and over and over again is that he does not change! He can be trusted to keep his word in the Word.
"God is not a human being that he should lie,
Or a mortal that he should change his mind.
Has he promised, and will he not do it?
Has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?"
I think that that verse is so powerful!
There are two times in the Bible where Jesus is amazed. When Jesus visited his home town the Bible tells us that he could not do many miracles because the people had so little faith, and it amazed him! Then another time, a Roman centurion comes to him and asks him to heal his servant. He tells Jesus that he believes that Jesus can heal his servant right then and there without having to come to his home. The Roman Centurion recognizes that he has no authority to ask Jesus to his home because he is under Jesus' authority... and Jesus in amazed at his faith!
I hope that someday I amaze Jesus with my faith, but I am sure that most of the time he is amazed at my lack faith even after all that He has done for me. At least I am getting better at taking him at his Word.