Recently I have been thinking a bit about prayer, or more precisely praying, and how we do it. Aside from the 'really just' stuff which we all do, though it drive us nutty, I have pondering the arrogance with which we approach God and make our demands. You know the kind of thing I'm sure: 'Lord, send this....' 'God, grant that the other...' 'Jesus give us....' 'Come now, oh Spirit.' It all sounds nice and pious but it's a bit rude isn't it? As if God was ours to command, our servant/slave/genie meant to grant our wishes.
So, I am trying to be a bit more polite when I talk to the Almighty! 'Please God would you....' is not, I would assert, a lack of faith but actually an attempt to acknowledge where the authority lies.
The planning application for redeveloping our site was submitted this week, and within a month or so we will know whether or not we can sell it with consent for housing. I am asking God as politely as I can to guide the process to a positive outcome, whilst accepting that there is the potential for (a) Gods will to be otherwise and (b) the sin and finitude of the local council to obstruct God's will. It's not that I have no faith in the application, the process, the council or the Almighty. Just a recognition that (a) God is not mine to command and (b) free will means that God's voice can get ignored by any or all parties.