Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week 3 - The Father Heart of God

Yes, I have finally begun A Year of Hope again! http://www.nancyguthrie.com/books/oneyear_book.php
Some of you may be wondering where I went, but please don't give up, yet! Pick the book up again, or if you have not begun, it isn't too late! This is not just a time for me to give my thoughts, struggles, and prayers through the book, but for us all to share together and learn from each other's grief. Instead of just commenting on my thoughts, make comments on how God is changing your life or what he has laid on your heart through this chapter.

The word father brings different feelings to every person. For some, like me, I was blessed with an amazing father who set the standard for all men to follow. I picture God with a balance of love and discipline. However, the reality is that very few men step up to be the father that God has called them to be. These children have a scarred view of fathers, and their view of God as a father may not always be reality. In this week we looked at the different aspects of God as our father, his love and discipline. Through disciplining he continues to show His love. I really liked how Nancy pointed out the fact that as parents we know what our children need better than they do, and how we will give them what they need over what they want despite their pleading.

For some time now I have been chewing over the purpose of prayer. First, I know that I believe that through prayer we come to have a personal time with God, that we come to rely on Him more clearly, we recognize who God is and our need for Him during our time of prayer, and we bring God our requests. But does how we pray make a difference? Our hearts need to be centered on what God's will for our lives should be, and for this reason I think that before we bring our request to God, we should ask God to guide our hearts. "Would you be willing to stop pounding on heaven's door, to stop begging God to give you what you believe is best, and to open your hands to receive the good gifts your heavenly father wants to give you?" (page 20)

If God had wanted Magdalena to have been born perfect, this would have been achieved, but he is more glorified through her sickness. I don't remember a lot the few months after I received her diagnosis, but before writing this blog entry Noah and I discussed how we never felt truly led to pray for Magdalena to be healed. He definitely has the power to heal her. We never for once doubted that, but we knew that she had been created in a delicate, special way. Our prayer consisted of us begging him for time with her to be able to know her as best we could before we would be asked to let her go, and we hoped that she would be one of the few with this type of disorder to outlive the statistics.

The following questions are taken from the Heidelberg Catechism.
When we ask something of God, it needs to remember God as a loving parent, and through so many prayers answered in a different, unexpected way, we are being loved by God, and it is for His glory that all things are done.

Why do Christians need to pray?

A. Because prayer is the most important part
of the thankfulness God requires of us.^1
And also because God gives his grace and Holy Spirit
only to those who pray continually and groan inwardly,
asking God for these gifts
and thanking him for them.^2

^1 Ps. 50:14-15; 116:12-19; 1 Thess. 5:16-18
^2 Matt. 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-13


Why did Christ command us
to call God "our Father"?

A. At the very beginning of our prayer
Christ wants to kindle in us
what is basic to our prayer—
the childlike awe and trust
that God through Christ has become
our Father.

Our fathers do not refuse us
the things of this life;
God our Father will even less refuse to give us
what we ask in faith.^1

^1 Matt. 7:9-11; Luke 11:11-13

1 comment:

  1. I still go through this all the time.

    I think one of the best things one of my friends shared with me (as we were discussing why even pray when it's going to happen the way it's going to happen because that's what God does) and she said, "Well, at the very least, we have to pray because we are called to do it and we can't have a relationship with someone we never talk to."

    And I loved that. So, though I still question...my intent, God's purpose, the futility of it and a myriad of other things...I am comforted by remembering that prayer is the communication lifeline with God and I'm thankful we have the ability!

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