Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Do You Believe in the Providence of God?

 


To say that I’m amazed is a gross understatement.

I’ve been chosen for an assignment, grand in both scope and impact, and on my own, I’m not even slightly qualified for it.

Many days I tremble and shake under the magnitude of its responsibility, yet I keep pondering the profound privilege that it is, and so I keep coming back.

How could I say no?

I have been invited to link arms with the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and allow His goodwill to penetrate every aspect of my life, the lives of my family and friends, indeed of the whole world simply through my faith-filled prayers and child-like trust in His providence.

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Welcome to the last post in the series The Five B's of Living, Breathing, Beautiful Prayer. In this post, we’ll discuss phase four – Beseech Him and phase five – Be Open to the Spirit’s Leading. You can catch up on the previous posts in the series, by clicking on the links below:

Living, Breathing, Beautiful Prayer series

Phase 1: Behold your God – Marvelling at the Wonder of God

Phase 2: Bless His Holy Name – Why Blessing God is Absolutely Good for You

Phase 3 – Bow Before Him – How to Get Real & Embrace the Gift of Apologising to God

Bonus post – Three Key Steps to Claiming Victory in Life’s Battles

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What do you ask God for?

Do you pray for health, safety, and maybe even a little wealth? Do you seek His help and guidance in your relationships? What about spiritual blessings? Which ones do you seek? And are your prayers centered mainly on your immediate circle or do you pray in ever-widening circles, even touching the whole world?

I remember a time when I was confused about what I could ask God for. I didn’t want to be selfish or misguided in my prayers by asking with the wrong motives or for the wrong things, so often my prayers would be some variation of ‘Your will be done’. Though it had the appearance of piety, looking back I see that my prayer life was shallow and immature. At the time though, my heart’s desire was pure: I simply wanted to pray within the will of God. But there was a problem.

I am not God. Never was. Never will be.

The good thing is -  He’s not asking me to be.  He simply asks me to believe in His providence and in His willingness to unfold certain events or aspects of His will in a direct answer to prayer.

What is meant by the Providence of God?

‘The almighty everywhere present power of God, whereby, as it were by His hand, He still upholds heaven and earth, with all creatures; and so governs them, that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, all things, come not by chance, but by His fatherly hand.’ ~ The HeidelbergCatechism (1563)

Understanding the providence of God helps me to accept His answers to prayer whether they are no, yes, or not yet. I can be confident ‘that He will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul; and further, that whatever evil He sends upon me in this vale of tears He will turn to my good; for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing also, being a faithful Father.’ ~ Heidelberg Catechism (1563)

I often tell my children, ‘You know I only want what’s best for you, right?’ I believe my words and actions have proven it so many times, that they have come to accept it as truth. They have been blessed with many good gifts from me. Nonetheless, sometimes, when they hear those words, they wince, sensing that whatever it is they are currently asking for is probably going to be denied. Yet, somehow, hearing me speak those words softens the blow because they’re convinced that I truly have their best interest at heart. Even if the best doesn’t feel good at the moment.

‘If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him.’ (Matthew 7:11 ESV)

Turns out I don’t have to worry, like I used to, about what to pray for and how to pray, because: 

1) God always answers what is best. I can be honest with Him and bring to Him my desires and even when I don't understand, I can rest assured that His answer is for my good and His glory, and 

2) God graciously shows me how in His Word. He has given me His whole Word for direction and even more specifically He has set an example for me in the Lord’s Prayer. In fact, the closer I walk with Him, the more He guides me into the very prayers that I should pray.

Do you see why I am amazed?

What about you? 

Do you live amazed at the goodness, majesty, and mercy of God?

Have you fully embraced the privilege and power of prayer?

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The Live Amazed Intercessory Prayer Journal which follows the prayer pattern set by our Lord was designed to help us take full advantage of the privilege of prayer. It has helped me to pray more specifically and intentionally for a wider range of persons, needs and places all while drawing me near to God in worship and thankfulness. 


To accompany my prayer journal and to help usher me into a time of worship, I compiled a YouTube playlist called Songs of Prayer. As I listen to these songs, I am able to behold the majesty of God, bless His Holy Name, bow before Him in reverence, respect, and repentance, beseech Him for all things necessary for soul and body while remaining open to His Spirit’s leading. It is always a time of sweet fellowship with my Father. 

I pray that you find this series on prayer helpful and that the Songs of Prayer playlist will help to enrich your worship experience as you persevere in and enjoy the gift of Living, Breathing, Beautiful prayer.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you,

Carlie

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Complimentary resources and links: 

Live Amazed Intercessory Prayer Journal.

Download here

 




4 comments:

  1. This is indeed encouraging, thought provoking and oh so peace invoking. Thank you for sharing. God bless.

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    1. Thanks for visiting the site, Sis Sarah! I'm grateful for your encouragement. May God's peace overwhelm us as we trust in His divine providence.

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  2. Wonderful post! I needed to be reminded of all these truths today!

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    1. It's a reminder I need often as well, my friend. Blessings to you as we journey on.

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