Why is it so hard to obey what we pray?

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES - Dayna Spence Ask the Chaplain

I just came off of a “Pray it, Obey it” Women’s Con­fer­ence and it re­ally got me think­ing about some things. My ques­tion is, why is it so hard to obey what we pray? I mean we can pray un­til we’re pur­ple in the face, but many in­stances we don’t know how to obey what we pray. Why is that such a chal­lenge for us? Signed, Pray­ing it and Pur­pos­ing My­self to Obey it

DEAR PRAY­ING IT>> Thank you for your ques­tion. When we have chil­dren most of us have an idea of what rules we want to es­tab­lish for them, and then there are rules we put into place as they grow. These rules are not meant to hurt them, but to help and train them to be­come the best peo­ple they can be. We don’t ex­pect our chil­dren to fol­low ev­ery sin­gle rule, ev­ery time, with­out failure. And of­ten, the ar­eas that they do fall short in are ar­eas they’re the weak­est and may need to learn and grow. Sim­i­larly, God has given us his rules, 611 of them, called the law. The law was not meant to hurt us, but to make plain God’s rules so we clearly can see where we fall short, and so we too can learn and grow and be­come bet­ter peo­ple and chil­dren of our Heav­enly Fa­ther. God never ex­pected us to get it right all the time ei­ther. In fact, it is nearly im­pos­si­ble with­out his help and strength. The only per­son who was able to keep the en­tire law per­fectly, was Je­sus, which is why only he can be our sav­ior. Al­though God doesn’t ex­pect us to obey con­sis­tently with­out fail, he does ex­pect us to try with ev­ery­thing in us to keep his com­mand­ments, and to sin­cerely ask for for­give­ness when we fall short. To be hon­est, obey­ing is dif­fi­cult, even when we are pray­ing to be obe­di­ent. There are things in life that are im­pos­si­ble for us to do in our own strength. But it’s these chal­leng­ing times and chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions that gen­uinely draw us to the Lord, and lead us to con­fess that we need his help in or­der to do his will, which is what he de­sires. And God uses our short­com­ings and fail­ures to help us grow and learn spir­i­tu­ally, and to help us de­velop an au­then­tic re­la­tion­ship with him. Yes, obe­di­ence in and out­side of prayer is hard, but as Je­sus said in Matthew 19:27, “With man this is im­pos­si­ble, but with God all things are pos­si­ble.”

DEAR CHAPLAIN>> What is wrong with telling a white lie? Signed, Black & White

DEAR BLACK & WHITE>> Black or white, a lie is a lie. It’s speak­ing un­truth. No mat­ter how big or small, lies don’t and can’t come from God be­cause, “God is not a man, that he should lie” (Num 23:19). God is the Spirit of Truth. How­ever, Satan, “does not stand in the truth, be­cause there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own char­ac­ter, for he is a liar and the fa­ther of lies” (John 8:4). It’s wrong to tell any lie be­cause it goes against God, truth and what’s right. And though we’ve all lied from time to time, no mat­ter how in­no­cent we think it is, it’s wrong and shouldn’t be some­thing we prac­tice. In­stead, Chris­tians should make an hon­est ef­fort and habit of telling the truth be­cause even with the best in­ten­tions, there is no good lie. Per­haps, if we don’t have any­thing truth­ful things to say, it’s best not to say any­thing thing at all.

Ask the Chaplain is writ­ten by Rev. Dayna Spence, an or­dained min­is­ter, li­censed evan­ge­list, and chaplain who’s served as a hos­pi­tal chaplain and is cur­rently serv­ing as a hospice chaplain Ch­ester County area. Please email “Ask the Chaplain” at 4thechap­lain@gmail.com or write to, PO Box 1284, West Ch­ester, PA 19380.

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