This Sunday we went to Global Gallery and watched a Nooma video from Rob Bell concerning prayer. Questions emerged regarding why God answers some prayers and not others and what is the role of suffering in this world. It evolved into whether prayer is a horizontal tapping into some ether or a vertical and individual acknowledgement of God's will. The power of prayer was then debated as directly causing or effecting events, or to a lesser degree affecting our experience of events. We drifted into discerning the mechanics of prayer and dipped into the unending, unanswered requests that we continue to pray. Two types of prayer were introduced: daily, relational (without ceasing) contrasted against direct requests. Verses were used out of context and onlookers eavesdropped.
Perhaps oddly, we never actually prayed.
While conclusions probably varied across the board, I think it was agreed that Prayer is mysteriously important in the Bible and in the Life of Christ. (Who heard Him pray when He was alone!?!) It likewise remains mysterious to us in the present day as it somehow interacts with a Spirit world that breaks down all the rules our universe usually obeys.
I feel the tension in my own thinking of a Sovereign God who has ordained our path and the effect any prayer might have on such a divine will. Yet I see Christ praying directly for his glorification, his disciples, all believers. There is a lot here and I hope we keep the discussion of prayer going; and that in that mind-bending theorizing, we also keep praying. Thoughts?
One comment from the video that I was going to bring up was this statement:
Don't pray for God to feed someone if you have plenty to eat.
I'm not sure what he meant by that or if I agree conceptually with that idea. What do you think?