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8 years ago  ::  Jul 21, 2010 - 6:27PM #1
Posts: 1

We pray to have a closer relationship with God.  But He already knows all about us, our wants, our needs, our good and bad activities.  Are we praying to manipulate Him?  If we're the squeaky wheel will we get what we want or is every detail of our lives already carved out?

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8 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2010 - 9:26PM #2
Posts: 1,543

Welcome to Beliefnet! Smile

I pray, as you say, so that I can be in relationship with God. For me, it's not just about asking him for things. I spend time just honouring him for who he is and what he has done. I talk with him about my own failures and flaws, and thank him for loving me in spite of them. I am vulnerable before him, and I try to pray the Bible - that he would keep my heart soft and teachable, that the world would see him in me as I try to be a testament of his grace and his love. I pray that God's will is done in my heart, my life, my behaviours, my attitudes.

Sometimes I ask for things. But I have learned to be content with what I have. There are things I'd like, but am happy enough to live without. My circumstances hardly matter at all, when what really counts is that whatever circumstance I am in will bring God glory. When I do ask him for something, I try to make sure I am motivated by love for God and love for others rather than selfish pleasures.

I do not believe that if we are "squeaky clean" that he will just give us what we want. The Bible is clear that we must align our desires with his will. It has nothing to do with behaving properly in order to get our needs met.

I also do not believe that every detail of our lives is planned out. This is a "traditional" view of (some) fundamental, conservative Christians. I've run into this issue a few times with people who have been very close to me, and so I talked to my pastor. I've also posted about it on here, too - a few times over the years. My pastor gave me a book that did a deep study of the Word, and the conclusion that I drew from the book is that if we pray according to biblical standards, and we are obedient to biblical principles, we are free to make our own choices within those guidelines the Bible lays out. I also believe that whatever choices we do make must be committed to God so that he can straighten the path before us. It is important to seek God in all things.

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8 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2010 - 2:52PM #3
Posts: 9


      Does not your earthly Father know your heart? Does he not know most things about you? He still wants to have a relationship with you. The difference is that your Father is just a man, but he is responsible for your flesh walking the world, while God is your spiritual Father. Your earthly Father deserves your love and respect and has much to teach you about life. God in the same way has all that you need spiritually. You can not know Him without establishing a relationship with Him, through prayer. Like rebellious children, many of us count on our own understanding in life. The Lord has the tools needed to live a healthy life, even an eternal life, but to gain those tools we have to know Him and what He wants for us. He disciplines us out of love. Just like our parents who discipline us when we do bad, the Lord disciplines us so that we understand right from wrong. Like children, we often get angry at our parents for disciplining us, but understand as we mature. Pick up the phone and call your parent with your appreciation of them, and in the same way get on your knees and thank the Lord for His grace. God Bless!!

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