I was asked to give my personal testimony, combined with Scripture references, in regard to prayer. I’m not sure that is what I ended up with in my presentation, but it’s for tomorrow, so I guess I am going with what I have, whether it is what they wanted or not.
I thought, last week, about changing it, when I got a phone call from someone other than the original person who scheduled my talk. However, I’ve prayed about this and I guess I’m just going to have to give it this way.
I begin with general things the Bible says about prayer and how often we have developed an expectation that we will get what we ask for. Then I talk about how we feel when those “promises” are broken.
I start from there with people in the Bible to whom God said no. Paul, Jesus, David. They didn’t get what they asked for. I don’t think any of us would accuse them of not having faith or of praying wrongly, but I’ve had people say I don’t have faith or that my mother in law isn’t forgiven, because her prayers weren’t answered.
Then I talk about God changing his mind. I specifically reference Hezekiah and Moses in the Bible and my grandfather and brother in my life.
From that short reference, I describe in more detail my brother’s life threatening illness and all the miracles God brought into play to save him. Then I talk about how that ought to have made me incredibly strong in my faith, but it hasn’t. I discuss Gideon and his asking God for confirmation, even though God has already given it to him. I also talk about Elijah wanting to give up- after numerous miracles have kept him alive.
Then I talk about a friend, K-, whose life has been so traumatic that she no longer has any expectation that God is going to answer her prayers. It’s easier to talk about someone else in crisis than to admit to crisis yourself.
Following that page long description, I discuss pain in my life and how I think God used it to get me to pray, even though the prayers were often complaints.
After that I talk about praying through Europe, grad school, getting married, obsessing about debt, Then I say that I was asked to discuss where I still have problems. Don’t you want to get up in front of a bunch of people you don’t know and say that stuff? Me neither. But I do. And I say that I should know better and tell one of my other favorite stories about prayer, about my husband praying for my sister. Then I am done.
Hopefully this will be what they want or will speak to them or whatever.
I won’t be going back because I have to work during that timeslot, but I thought I was going to get to go to the Bible study class.