Martin Luther once said "I have so much to do today that I'm going to need to spend three hours in prayer in order to be able to get it all done." Isn't it funny how someone who lived 500 years ago can say something so relevant to us today. We are a people too busy to pray, and too busy not to pray.
How is it possible, then that the promise of Matthew 21:22: "Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive." can be valid. If we have so much to pray for, it can't really be so that we would receive all that we ask. The problem is not that we don't pray enough, but that our prayers are just too big, and are too much about what we want God to do, and not what God wants from us.
I'm going back to the mustard seed and the parable I wrote about earlier this week. And to paraphrase Jesus, "If you pray like the mustard seed, then the impossible becomes possible". When that mustard seed goes in the ground, it could dwell and obsess on all the work it needs to do to become a large plant. Instead the prayer of the mustard seed is simple. It enters the ground in faith that there will be water and nutrients and sunlight and warmth, and the right amount of shade. The mustard seed enters the ground, not with a basketful of expectations, but with a pinch of faith, a simpleness that allows it to flourish into what seems impossible at the outset.
So when you approach prayer and you ask for so many things that have to get done, start with the prayer of the mustard seed, pray from your foundation of faith, because that his your greatest gift and your greatest strength.
Feel free to share with me and with others how you pray!
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About this website
Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church (GA) in New York City has been chosen as one of eight internship congregations to participate this year in a church-wide initiative designed to increase our understanding of Holy Scripture and most importantly, to cultivate our engagement with it. In partnership with The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Vicar John Heidgerd will be working to develop innovative ways to deepen our faith formation and sense of discipleship for the sake of ourselves and our communities.