Every now and then I get these e-mails from my church (UCC) and I find some of them particularly interesting, so since I haven't posted much lately I thought I'd share some with you.
You Have What It Takes!
Excerpt from Mark 11:20-25
Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Reflection by William C. Green
Jesus did not say believe that you will receive what you pray for. He said "believe that you have received it."
So often we pray for what we already have. Time and again the psalmist says "God is my strength," not "God grant me strength." The same with all kinds of help and healing, forgiveness and guidance, an ability to keep the faith and to pray. "God is my rock and redeemer." Not please, God, give me something I need and don't have.
So why pray? Because our petitions rightly understood are not requests but praise. The dreariest psalms, full of neediness and despair, almost always move seamlessly into declarations of what God has done and makes possible.
We are created in the likeness of God's goodness and strength--"little less than God."
True, we fall away from this and abuse our God-given endowments. But we are not stripped of them. And prayer recalls us to who we are in the first place. It's an awakening, or re-awakening, to what's still ours.
Often enough I've felt like some bottomless pit that no amount of encouragement or reassurance could fill. At those times I'd always pray for strength I lacked. I've now taken to praying another way. "God, make me aware of the strength you've given me." That's proven a good way to respect God, and others. When I quit looking elsewhere for what I already have, I find it!
O Lord, I praise you for the strength and hope you give us. Amen.