What a boring burdenless prayer life a Calvinist has. And self centered I would presume.
This statement was made on a recent Facebook post regarding the Doctrines of Grace. I was soon blocked from the conversation, but because I know how theological discussions can go, I took screen shots of it before I was banned. I have written about prayer before, but it can’t hurt to quickly re-visit such an important topic.
“Boring” – Can prayer be boring? I think it can, and not just for the Calvinist. It can become trite, repetitious and without fervor for any believer.
“Burdenless” – Should prayer be burden-filled? I suppose that when we come boldly to our Father’s throne, we can be encumbered with many cares. Loved ones who are not born again, Christians who have backslidden from God, financial stress, marital difficulty, friendship woes, child-rearing worries, health concerns, work issues, doctrinal questions, and fears of all kinds are just a few of the problems I have brought, stoop-backed, to my Father’s throne. I cannot carry the load! I am overcome and overwhelmed. I lay them at His feet not knowing what to think or what to do. I know many of my peers would seek counsel from parents or friends, but what if you do not have that option? Isn’t the Lord of Heaven enough? Can He not handle it? Or am I supposed to take those burdens to the Lord and then pick them up and keep carrying them? Why shouldn’t I leave them with Him? Indeed, I can walk away from my time of supplication and feel “burdenless”! That is exactly the point of prayer, to leave our burdens with the Lord.
“Self-centered” – Guilty. I admit that I do bring my own problems to the Lord. I do not know what to do or how to handle them. I admit that I often complain to my Father about others. It’s humbling to be whining about someone else and feel the prick of the Holy Spirit that seems to scream (not audibly) “You are better than Mr. or Mrs. So and So?” Oh. No, I’m not. Then the repentance on my part must begin. Believe it or not, Calvinists do pray for others. We carry the burdens of friends and loved ones before the Lord. We have hearts, we feel pain and loss and sorrow. We grieve for our friends and neighbors. But what else can we do besides pray? My resources and talents are limited, but my Father, Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, has unlimited, infinite, boundless resources. He can help, I know He can, and I beg Him to do just that. I’ve learned that He either gives me that which I have requested, or He gives me grace to survive without it.
Prayer is necessary because God says we should pray. (I Thess. 5:17) Christ taught His disciples to pray (Luke 11:1-4), and He Himself prayed (Matt. 26:36-39). Prayer is one tool that God uses to bring about His perfect will. Yes, I pray. Not as faithfully as I should, not as perfectly as I should, but I do pray. And if you’re a Christian, I hope you do, too.