"Be thankful in all things, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thes 5:18

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do We Have The Power To Move God's Heart?

Okay, this has been eating at me. Someone I know and love (and who is very smart, wise and spiritually mature) put this quote on FB and it became inspirational to many. Why then, did it have to eat at me? I'm such an odd ball I guess.

Here is the quote:

"Prayers that do not move the heart of the one praying will rarely

move the heart of God."

Now, I just tend to dissect things and not just take them, it's an impulsive brain response for me. Here are my issues with this quote. Or at least my questions.

Do I have the power to move my own sinful heart?

Do I have the power (even more startling question for me) to move God's heart?

Does "rarely" mean that sometimes my sucky prayers will move God's heart and sometimes they won't? Does this fit with the consistent character of God? Why would he be moved at some of them and not others? The word rarely bothers me in this.

I'm not coming at this to be mean or spiteful or just troublesome. I really care about what people think and what makes them accept it, be inspired by it, or reject it. I think that chewing before swallowing is a good idea. If this quote is referring to the fact that insincere, religious, prideful prayers won't convict us and will not honor God then, I can agree.

IF however, it means that by simply being sincere I can move my heart and impress God enough to move his by my doing so, then I find it a little troubling.

I find more often that my heart is rock hard ugly. I can't move it. God's Holy Spirit moves me to repent and pray or it moves me to pray out of obedience. Then, God's peace is given and conviction (alluded to I'm presuming by the "moving" expression) will follow.

Yet, to EVER, EVER think that by my sincerity I could ever move the heart of God I just won't accept. I could NEVER have power over God that way. His decision to move is based on His own desire for His glory in all things. If moving is in his glory plan, he will be moved.

On the same note, God being moved (which I'm presuming means responding to the prayer, hearing, acting upon etc) is unpredictable then I am valid in developing insecurity about my God. He promises to hear the prayers of His people, and inhabit them.

So, that leads me to think this quote must be intended for the unsaved who are just saying things out their mouths that will make them feel more spiritual. Still though, the unrighteous prayer will NEVER be responded to by God. Rarely cannot apply.

More than anything in this, I would just like to research biblically if we ever have the power to move God's heart. Perhaps this is one of those strange things that are His will and yet we have our part. I just think it's dangerous for Christians to think that their holy sincerity will move God's heart.

Trust me, I wish my brain did not do this as often as it does. However, after years of swallowing a lot of theology whole and finding later that I had to puke it up and start over because it was not real food, I've developed a reflex of chewing. I may be over-chewing but I'd rather do that than swallow it whole. Just sayin.


Amy B said...

I think if we all did a little more chewing it would do a world of good! (-: When I read that quote, I thought it was referring to possibly praying things we "ought" to pray instead of what our hearts truly feel. Then I think that in order to pray something real, I must trust the One I am praying to. And I must think good of my God that He would want for me what I am asking of Him. My first thoughts on your post were that I wanted to look up the times when God got mad at the people and wanted to kill them and then someone would pray and he would change His mind. But I need to do some research on that to find where He did that. Also, if NO unrighteous prayer is heard, then how do we get saved? (wink) Those were my "off the cuff" thoughts... just thought I'd jot them down! Happy chewing!

Alicia said...

THanks for responding Amy. Good thoughts.
YOu are right, GOd does seem to "change his mind" a lot in the OT. I've studded this before and it's been confusing to me before. I remember coming to some solutions but I don't remember what they were. I'll have to backtrack on that and see what my thought had been.
I did realize I was creating an issue with the prayer of the unsaved (good catching that!). I left it though because the moment you pray to be saved you are so I did not think that prayer really applied. The prayer that was not really meaning that repentance (perhaps using it as a bargain with God prayer, you know, that is not real)God would not answer.
IT's all good chewing for sure!:)

Kristen Borland said...

Hmmm... I saw that quote and had trouble with it too. I think there are many valid points in there and in your thoughts as well. My main thing is moving the heart of God. I know the Bible talks about incidents of that, and yet His will is already planned and set in place. It's one of those difficult situations to reconcile, where two truths have trouble meshing in our human understanding. Like free will and predestination. I don't think my brain can fully register that this side of heaven. But good things to ponder, as always my friend.