Welcome my friend! I’m truly delighted you have joined me here today! We are going to have such a lovely time together over a cuppa.
We are sitting in the warmth of my living room on this cold winter’s day here in Australia with mugs of Creme Brulee tea & freshly baked gf Apple cinnamon muffins.
Now we are comfy, sipping this delightful tea blend & enjoying our muffins we’ll begin…
Did you know that just about every person on this planet, at some point in their lives have prayed!
Especially when a situation is far beyond their ability to intervene, realizing they’re way out of their depth & in need of divine help in the situation. A prayer is uttered.
As the following true story highlights…
Many years ago my now late father-in-law John, shared just such a situation that he’d experienced during his military service in WWII.
He was a young British RAF Aircraft Engineer at the time, serving in the North African campaign, working in maintenance & flight duties on the British bombers.
On this particular evening, it was his turn to be a part of the flight crew for a reconnaissance mission.
While flying, the aircraft came under heavy enemy fire which turned the dusky blue sky to a brilliant orange.
Suddenly, they sustained a direct hit, the aircraft instantly went into a nose dive plummeting towards the earth.
Facing imminent death John had called out to God, whom he remembered from his Sunday School days, asking Him to save them from crashing to the ground.
God miraculously answered his cry for help, the crew were all saved from that horrific situation!
However, John also shared that he felt much shame & guilt when he remembered that prayer. As he had not kept his side of his bargain with God.
You see John had made a promise to God in the moments of that urgent prayer. And because John hadn’t kept his side of that promise, he thought God would not accept or forgive him.
This brings us to some interesting human behavior, bargaining with God in a crisis.
What is prayer?
Prayer in its most simplest form is communicating with God. However, this is a little simplistic in its explanation, as prayer incorporates so much more!
Let’s make this personal…
As a little girl I was taught to pray set prayers that were used by the denomination in which I was raised. I knew all of these prayers by rote & can still say them at a moments notice.
But in my early teens I realized that while these set prayers have their place, I could actually just have a chat with my heavenly Father, as I did with my Dad!
Bringing all my concerns, worries & at that time my naive teenage wants to Him each night in a simple chat (prayer), as teen girls do.
However, as a young woman in my twenties, I came into a deeper relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, which I share Here .
This brought deep revelation into all areas of my life, especially in the area of prayer.
For I came to realize that in this new relationship with God through Jesus, my prayer life was so much richer in the truth of what prayer actually is with the Father.
For His Holy Spirit had now entered my life, He was now not only teaching me the truth of God’s Word but also empowering my prayer life aligning it with God’s will for my life.
“So too the Holy Spirit comes to our aid & bears us up… for we don’t know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it as we ought, but the Spirit Himself pleads on our behalf…because the Spirit intercedes before God…in harmony with God’s will.”
Romans 8:26 & 27 Refer 2
The Reality of Prayer
We are told in God’s Word (the Bible) that prayer is not just a way of communication with God but an important part of Christ’s relationship with God the Father & us through His Spirit.
“For there is one God & one mediator between God & man, His Son, Jesus Christ”
1 Timothy 2: 5
This is a wonderful revelation, that Jesus Christ Himself is our mediator, so even if our chat (prayer) with God isn’t eloquent or we don’t know what to say, it’s totally okay as the His Spirit works on our behalf!
This brings us back to bargaining prayers that are uttered in crises.
Do we need to bargain with God?
As we have seen above Jesus is the only mediator between us & God.
Which means that Jesus’ life, death on the cross, raising from death & ascending into heaven were wholly accepted by God the Father, as a once & for all payment for mankind’s fall from grace in the garden.
So in this knowledge, Jesus has already paid the price that caused man’s broken relationship with God.
Therefore there is nothing we have, can do or promise that can be used as a bargaining chip with God, my friend.
Jesus covered it once & for all through His sacrifice on the cross.
The main desire God has for us, is to accept & acknowledge His Son’s redeeming work & our need of His salvation, personally.
How do we pray then?
While He walked this earth Jesus left us many examples of how to pray. He was in constant communication with God, the Father.
The most famous prayer is when His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. This is what He taught them, its known as the Lord’s prayer or the Our Father;
“Our Father, who is in heaven, glory be your name. Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread & forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power & the glory forever.”
Matthew 6:9 (paraphrased)
It holds some great wisdom for us when we pray or as I like to call it my daily chat (prayer time) with my Heavenly Father.
Freedom from guilt & shame
John & I were able to have a very open & honest discussion that day about God’s love, acceptance & forgiveness for John. Regardless of John’s ability to keep his side of the bargaining prayer or not.
You will be pleased to know that six months after that discussion, while with a friend who was a minister & also a WWII veteran, John prayed another prayer.
This time to know God’s love & forgiveness personally, accepting God’s Son, Jesus Christ’s work of Redemption for himself.
John was truly a changed man, he enjoyed such wondrous peace of mind when his burden of guilt & shame was lifted by seeing God’s amazing love & grace for him.
Do you have a burden that’s weighing your heart down, my friend?
God’s door is always open, He hears every prayer that is directed towards Him & there’s no need for bargaining.
Until next time,
You’re welcome to join me in The Reading Nook
© 2020 Jennifer M. Ross, teawithjennifer.blog, All Rights Reserved. Photos by Johannes Plenio & Garon Piceli on Pexels.com