This week, we continue our discussion on Prayer: Finding The Heart's True Home by Richard Foster. After discussing "simple prayer", Foster turns his attention to what he deems "The Prayer of the Forsaken."
The Psalmist writes, I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?" (Psalm 42:9 NIV) Elijah and Jeremiah cried out to God at various times in their lives. Jesus himself voiced, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46 NIV)
If you've had a relationship with God for very long, I think you understand what Foster argues in this chapter. There are times God seems to be distant. Even a response in the negative would be welcomed. And yet at times we pray and sense we're only talking to ourselves. There are times we read God's Word and it doesn't appear to be living and active (cf. Hebrews 4:12).
Foster does a great job of explaining the concept of relationship. One party cannot force the other into mutual love or sacrifice. According to Foster, God gives mankind a free will for this purpose. You and I have the ability to choose or not to choose a relationship with God (or with others).
At the same time, even though we know God never leaves us nor forsakes us, we sense those feelings of absence mentioned above. Again, according to Foster, God provides those times as opportunities to grow. God cannot be contained or made to show up on a whim. He is no genie in a bottle! His belly can't be rubbed expecting three wishes in return.
The prayer of the forsaken is something we all need to understand. It's one of those things that we must prepare for before we reach those times in our lives. It must be understood God's silence does not mean His absence. And it's during those "dark times" we can grow the most.
What thoughts might you have about The Prayer of the Forsaken?
why? (the storm)
17 hours ago