In Bible study last week, things were so peaceful that we chucked the planned lesson and simply talked. My ground-rule was it had to be Biblical or ministerial. The first question was "Why does God do all these things to me?" My response was to consider that acts arise from three sources: from God, from the devil, and from man. We must also discern if things are righteous, evil, or simply flesh. But I reminded the questioner that no matter what the source of trouble and challenge, God can use it all for good and to help us.
The second question was about how we know if we're praying for the right things in our lives. I shared that I believe God wants us to be in conversation and to share all our wants. However, the bible says we will only get answers for those right prayers. But it doesn't hurt to ask and I believe the dialogue will help. And there are several cases of "arguing" with God when the answer doesn't come. I don't believe God changes his mind really, but he does relent and do things differently when it is in accordance with his plan. As we find wants, we need to examine if they are good. The heart is deceitful. We can pray, "Search my heart. Show me the dark places that are not right." And finally, sometimes we simply don't know what to pray. In those cases, cry out in agony, pain, anger or simply sigh. The Bible promises that the Holy Spirit will intercede for us with the Father and change our outcry into prayers for us.
Then we discussed the gist of Acts by request. And then Revelation. It was a great day!
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