Why is it so hard to obey what we pray?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or write to, PO Box 1284, West Chester, PA 19380.