Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Finally Found the Point

One poet said,
"Prayers like gravel
flung at the sky's window,  
hoping to attract the loved one's attention."
And that's a quote I can really relate to. All too often, it feels like I am a child, assuming that my best efforts, like throwing rocks in the air, is the way to get God's attention. Did I lose his interest? Did I do something wrong? How long should I keep this up?

I've always had a hard time with this. And it was a long time before I heard a good answer.

What's the point?

Why pray? When God already knows? And why pray when God is sovereign, anyway?

1. You may already have a satisfactory answer.
2. You may have just quit asking.
3. Or you may have just given up on prayer altogether.

Whatever the case, the story has helped me find peace with the question, what's the point?

"My pastor spent a day of hard labor installing stone steps in his backyard. The individual stones weighed between a hundred and two hundred pounds, and it took all of his strength and a few tools to maneuver them into place. His five-year-old daughter begged to help. When he suggested she just sing, to encourage him in his work, she said no. She wanted to help. Carefully, when it would not endanger her, he let her place her hands on the rocks and push as he moved them. 
He admitted later that Becky's assistance actually complicated the task. He could have built the steps in less time without her 'help'. At the end of the day, though, he had not only new steps but a daughter bursting with pride and a sense of accomplishment. "Me and Dad made steps," she announced at dinner that night. And he would be the first to agree."

God could do so much greater without us.

It's as simple as that. He could. But he chooses not to. God could restore the world without us. But he chooses to restore and redeem using our hands, using our prayers. And looking through the eyes of a parent making stone steps, it helps me understand the mystical experience of prayer.

So your heart asks, what is the point of prayer?
To accomplish things WITH God that only he can do.