The Incompletes of Prayer
There are two extreme theories on prayer.
1. One is that God needs us to pray or He can’t act. His hands are tied.
2. The second is that because God is sovereign our prayer doesn’t matter; He will work anyway without us.
Years ago in seminary class we discussed prayer. Our instructor, Gil Steiglitz, author of Touching the Face of God, presented an interesting observation:
“One night I was talking to my wife and a thought came …after all these years why do I have to communicate with my wife to understand situations or express needs?” After all these years why can’t we just know what we felt?”
“Why do we need to pray?”
Gil conjectured God, who is sovereign, purposefully allows incompletes so we have significance in our own world. He leaves incompletes so we are involved in the outworking of the completed project or relationship He has in mind.
We don’t’ live in a world of finished products. We live in a world of incompletes.
Relationships are completed and mature by communication, helping, serving, reaching out to each other. It is required we talk to each other to have relationship. We can’t just read the minds of those we are close to. Neither can those who care for us. We have to do the work of talking to them prayerfully to discover what’s up and how to pray.
Provision wise, God could have made it so things just show up when we need them. Some can, but many things won’t show up...but seem to—once we pray. (Like the papers I lost like week)
God answers our prayers with unfinished opportunities.
He can do anything He wants, but still sends things with some assembly required. God knows what we need so he sends work projects . Then we can be part of the opportunity.
He doesn’t send finished products—he sends incompletes.
Although we live in a broken world, he created a perfect incomplete world so we can grow. We have to plant a field for the food, cut down the tree to build the house for shelter, talk to people for relationship. Prayer is all part of it.”
And so we continue to pray as Jesus taught, every day...Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven… Give us this day our daily bread… Luke 11:2
Every day there are things to ask for. Everyday we ask so we can receive all that He has for us here. Jesus said not to hesitate...but to “Ask and you shall receive that your joy may be full”. John 16:24