God Loves a Good Question

Dear Christian Counselor:

20120714-105416.jpgThe person that is supposed to be my significant other got an invitation to his cousin’s wedding about a month ago. I have yet to hear from him if he is going to take me as his date or not. The fact that he hasn’t mention anything really bugs me, and I’m not OK with him going by himself because it will be an overnight event. I would like to know how to handle this matter. Thank you in advance.

—Felicia


Dear Felicia:

God is a big believer in communication. So much so that He spoke the world into existence, and called Himself “The Word.” Jesus’s ministry shows us that He also loves a good question. You can inject some God into this situation by communicating with your significant other. I assume you have already asked him about it – if not, that’s step one. Step two is asking some good follow-up questions, like: “I really need to make plans, so could you let me know if we will be going to the wedding together?” “When can you let me know?” “It seems like this is a hard decision for you. Can you explain what’s making it difficult?” If you don’t receive any satisfaction from his answers, I would encourage you to communicate your own feelings. Since anger tends to beget anger, start with any hurt or fear you might have about the situation. For example, “It hurts my feelings that you don’t seem to want me to go to the wedding with you,” or “I’m feeling insecure about our relationship because you are not taking me to this wedding.” If your guy really cares about you, then he will want to hear your heart.

At this point I’m more than a little curious why you have a “significant other” with whom you cannot communicate easily and whom you do not trust alone at an overnight event. There might be some good questions you need to ask yourself.

—Louise

Enhanced by Zemanta

What About Prayer?

Dear Christian Counselor:

In the 12-step program, they refer to “conscious contact with God,” and I feel most of my prayer falls into this category. It’s more a constant conversation or knowing between us vs. a dedicated time of focused prayer. Is this okay? Does God change his mind based on our prayers?

–springs


Dear Springs:

I’m glad you are asking questions about prayer because that means you are not content to do life in your own strength.  There are probably as many approaches to prayer as there are praying people.  Jesus spoke spontaneously, in the intimate, immediate way you are describing.  But He also made a conscious effort to spend time alone with God.  As a parent, I appreciate it when my children touch base with me in the middle of their busy lives via text or Facebook.  But I also crave their individual focused presence.  That’s an area you could explore with God.  A recent book called A Praying Life by Paul Miller might help get you started.

There are several statements in Scripture concerning the constancy of God’s character, that He is not capricious or changeable.  But there are other illustrations of the value of repentance and prayer which seem to indicate that God is swayed by His people’s pleas (one quick example: Amos 7:2-3).  When the disciples questioned Jesus about prayer, He gave them a pattern to follow which included asking God to provide for their needs, accept their remorse and keep them from evil.  I don’t think this means God is surprised or changed by our prayers.  Rather, I think He has given us the wonderful privilege of being employed in His work as effective instruments in His hands.  This is certainly true when we show mercy or do justice in His name.  Why would it not also be true when we pray in His name?

—Louise

Enhanced by Zemanta