Eclexia writes with insight and honesty on Prayer wanderings and wonderings. I am glad that she found helpful the following comment which I wrote on another blog, and which I repeat here for the record:
Intercessory prayer is hard to reconcile with any systematic theology. That is because we come to these matters with what Charles Simeon called “proud reason”, setting up theological systems which end up contradicting the Bible.
To take this further, I would say that we need real humility in our prayer. Certainly we should not try to manipulate God into doing what we want. We should not claim that we understand what prayer is all about. Rather, we pray because God tells us to, and our hearts tell us to. And our intercessory prayer needs to be firmly grounded in a close relationship with God, one where we can pour out our own hearts to him and also connect with his heart for us.
In fact I share many of Eclexia’s difficulties with prayer. But I feel that God is slowly bringing me through them. For me, one of the keys is that I will pray only for things which God has really put on my heart. I avoid praying through lists, at least in any mechanical way, because I can’t have faith for everything on a list someone else has written. I won’t waste time praying for something I don’t have faith for. For the same reason I have difficulties with prayers in church and others’ prayers in prayer meetings. But I can have faith that if God prompts me to pray for something he intends to answer my prayers. So I tend to pray only as he prompts me. And as I have been doing that more I am hearing more of his prompting, sometimes even during those long lists of requests read out in church.
And now I pray, not just because Bloglines has come up with this prayer request but because God is prompting me to, that he will open up a way for Eclexia and her family to stay in the house which seems so suitable for them. I pray that the money will become available for this house and its owners so that the family can stay there, and grow in him as they see him continuing to answer their prayers and meet their needs. Amen.