A thought just hit me. A question really.
Do I ever pray because I lack faith?
Prayer always looks good. Always. Also It feels good. And Spiritual. But I wonder if sometimes I – and others – ever pray because we do not trust God and are asking him to do something different. I wonder if sometimes our prayers are a reflection of our lack of trust in God and his ways of doing things.
Maybe I can explain it better like this.
What if something happens and we do not have any audio and video for a worship service? My tendency would be to pray the problem would be taken of. Which – all things being equal – is not bad. For I believe God is powerful and can fix this problem. But my tendency is to pray for God to wield this power of his to take care of what I think is the problem. Why is it a problem? Because I do not think God can be worshipped well without A/V. I do not believe the means of grace – the word and sacrament – are powerful for him to be worshipped and to draw people into fellowship with him.
So in unbelief, I pray.
This is different than acknowledging my unbelief in prayer. This is not, “I believe…help my unbelief.” This is, “God, exert your power because I do not think what you have given us as the base minimum for corporate worship is powerful enough.”
No wonder pastors get burned out.
But we also do this as parents and spouses and doctors and lawyers and homemakers and accountants and artists and plumbers. We ask God to do something because we do not believe he is doing something. Either because we look at the mundane and expect the extraordinary as proof of his power or we simply have no vision for a God working where we do not see him working.
This of course does not preclude prayer. The opposite is true. Now we are able to say to God, “I believe you are powerful, so I come to you in prayer. And I believe you are working powerfully for my good (and the good of your people?) even though I can’t see you.”
In other words it’s kinda like saying, “I believe, I believe…help my unbelief.”