Cross Points 3.19.21

Praying with a High View

Praying can be tough.  We explored that in the previous Cross Point.  But let’s not leave it there.  “We must stop setting our sights by the light of each passing ship; instead we must set our course by the stars!” said George Marshall, and we would be wise to take his advice as it relates to prayer.  Too often we let every circumstance swing us from one extreme (when something good happens) to the other extreme (when something bad happens), like the passing ships.  We need something more reliable.

The Psalmist tells us: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:3, 4).  Truth is, we are like children with naïve ways of thinking compared to God.  Our scope is limited.  Much like Job in the Old Testament, who did not know that God had allowed Satan to test him.  Much bad happened that Job could not understand, like it sometimes happens to each of us.  Friends tried to comfort him (or more often accuse him, their perspective messed up too).  Why would God allow Satan to do this?  We don’t know.  Neither did Job, and God never explains himself. But God challenges Job with these words, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?  Tell me, if you have understanding… Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place?” (Job 38).
Did you ever think about how big the Milky Way system is?  They say that if it was the size of the North American continent, by comparison our solar system would fit in a coffee cup.  We may never in this life explore much beyond earth, but my guess is that heaven will allow all kinds of inter-galactical travel.  What will we do in heaven?  I believe we’ll live on a restored earth, but the possibilities are endless.  That is to say, although we don’t understand everything in this life, what God has planned for the faithful is mind-boggling.  We may be able to visit planets millions of miles away, with no atmosphere issues.  And it tells us that although God allows us to know a lot, through his Word, and through good scientific research, we don’t know much.  When we pray, we must take that into account.

One of the things prayers should do is raise our sights above the petty craziness of this life.  We admit our tininess and God’s vastness, we bow to him in faith and obedience as we lean on what he teaches us in the Bible.   But that brings up a point worth considering: are we allowing God to teach us? Since our knowledge is limited, aren’t we at fault if we then disregard what knowledge we can have by studying God’s Word.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” says the Lord in Isaiah 55:9.  The trouble is, we sometimes use that as an excuse for our ignorance.  God’s ways may be higher than ours, which should provide incentive to discover what he allows us to learn about his ways in scripture!

“All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).  God has spent thousands of years slowly bringing us his message of redemption in Christ through the historical stories of Noah, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, of Moses and the time of kings and prophets, of exile in Babylon, and eventually in the coming of Jesus the Christ.  After Jesus’ death and resurrection this “good news” (gospel) was heralded by the apostles, with a New Covenant written to guide us in “the way” of the Messiah.  Let’s pray about that!
Cross Point: “Blessed is he who walks not in the counsel of the wicked…but his delight is in the way of the Lord, and on his way he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1, 2).  Learn from God, then pray about what you’ve learned.
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