Making sense of prayer has taken me a long time. Many years. Like several decades. For those that are new readers to this blog post, I’m talking to God through my blogging and you’re getting to look over my shoulders. My hope is that my honest conversation will some of you to discover how you can enjoy talking with God more. And when you enjoy talking with God more, you’ll talk to God more often. That’s a good thing.
Oh God, I need a lot of help making sense of this world. Like I read in the Gospels, the writers often note when something is being translated. And, Jesus did that too, like the other day, when I read one of the parables, and how he said that he taught using stories and parables so that some people would hear and not understand. And, Jesus then took the time to translate and explain the parable to his disciples. The story I had read was that one about the parable of the seeds.
I’m under no delusion that this little blog project will turn into a best-selling book or some kind of movie project. That was certainly not my aspiration nor ambition. I’ve known people that go on the conference circuit and do the junket. No thank you, I’m not interested. That’s the not the game in life I want to play.
I’m part of a church that has multiple locations. Some of you may have heard of it: Saddleback Church. And this week, our entire church is going through the same sermon series, the same small group curriculum, the same daily devotional, and all of this on the topic of prayer. You can join in whether you’re part of this church or not, by going to saddleback.com/pray40; there’s an online campus where you can participate more actively with thousands of others too.
Talking to God about Others’ Hardships
Dear God, it is fairly easy to sing praise songs and to believe in your being a good God and a caring God and a providing God when life is going well. I thank you for giving me a pretty good life during the past 50 years.
I don’t know why there is so much suffering in this world. And why disasters and tragedies have struck recently so close to each other. It feel overwhelming and too much for us to take. When sufferings caused by losses and destructions of hurricanes, earthquakes, and massacre, on top of the smaller tragedies that happen in the normal course of life as some people experience bad accidents, death from old age or disease, crimes out of desperation, and all kinds of other things that make life hard.
Recently, I was going to the airport and the taxi driver shared his story with me. He emigrated from a Middle Eastern country and had a decent life growing up, even a wealthy life, by average standards. Owned like 30-some houses as rental properties and he lost it all from economic downturns. Now he’s driving a taxi cab. Oh that’s got to be a hard transition.
I’ve heard of a book with the title “Conversations with God” but didn’t read it and don’t know anything about it. Its Wikipedia entry describes the author’s conception of God as a divine force that sounds more like a mashup of Hinduism, Sikhism, and other philosophies.
The conversations I’m having with God is with the personal triune God of Christianity as revealed in the Bible. Want to be clear for new readers to this blog. Now, let me turn my attention to talk with my dear God while you listen in.