GCM Home | Bible Search | Rules | Donate | Bookstore | RSS | Facebook | Twitter

Author Topic: Prayer- why?  (Read 1486 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline searched_and_found

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Manna: 0
    • View Profile
Prayer- why?
« on: Sat May 12, 2012 - 04:05:31 »
Hello all,

This is my first post ever on this forum, and I'm excited about all that I will be able to learn in the future from you brothers and sisters in Christ. I have a question regarding prayer. I am currently suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and have been for many months now. I pray about it often (as you can imagine), and many friends and family members are praying for me as well.

Which brings me to my question, and that is if God wants me to be well, does it make a difference how many people pray for me? This applies to any situation of prayer. While the Bible clearly instructs us to pray and ask for our needs daily frequently and for others to pray with us in agreement, does it make a difference to God?

To be blunt, does it make it any more likely for something to be granted to us if more people are praying for it? If so, I find it confusing logically, and it almost seems like a popularity contest in terms of the amount of prayers and number of people praying.

Thanks for your input, and, ironically, please pray for me.  ::smile::

Christian Forums and Message Board

Prayer- why?
« on: Sat May 12, 2012 - 04:05:31 »

larry2

  • Guest
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #1 on: Tue May 15, 2012 - 13:23:41 »
Dear searched_and_found, welcome to these forums. In Christ we are the righteous new man, and we have a special invite to God's own throne in Hebrews 4:16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

James 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Now, why am I not healed? We read in James 5:15, And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up . .

Does God remove every malady we pray for? Paul experienced the following problem in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9

7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. I would ask if it is God's will for you to be healed? I do know that in 3 John 1:2 we're told, Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. The key here is as thy soul prospers. With Paul, God allowed the thorn in his flesh to prosper his soul.

Can you take hold of Romans 8:28?  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Even in sickness we are drawn closer to God as we call on His name.

Dear Father, I ask You in the name of Jesus to heal this saint to glorify You as they testify of Your abundant grace toward us who believe. Take the burden of fatigue from them and restore their health as they walk with You. Thank you Father and I just praise You for hearing me in Jesus' name. Amen.

Christian Forums and Message Board

Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #1 on: Tue May 15, 2012 - 13:23:41 »

Offline Teresa

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Manna: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #2 on: Mon Jun 11, 2012 - 05:36:45 »
Hello all,

This is my first post ever on this forum, and I'm excited about all that I will be able to learn in the future from you brothers and sisters in Christ. I have a question regarding prayer. I am currently suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and have been for many months now. I pray about it often (as you can imagine), and many friends and family members are praying for me as well.

Which brings me to my question, and that is if God wants me to be well, does it make a difference how many people pray for me? This applies to any situation of prayer. While the Bible clearly instructs us to pray and ask for our needs daily frequently and for others to pray with us in agreement, does it make a difference to God?

To be blunt, does it make it any more likely for something to be granted to us if more people are praying for it? If so, I find it confusing logically, and it almost seems like a popularity contest in terms of the amount of prayers and number of people praying.

Thanks for your input, and, ironically, please pray for me.  ::smile::
Christ said to pray unceasingly and gave the example of the unjust judge and the neighbour who is already asleep.

Therefore we can trust that God does want us to pray as he is not an unjust judge and a sleeping neigbour.

Why does it make a difference? Because when we pray we are aligning ourselves with God.  We are acknowledging our creaturedness which means humility.  The more we pray the more we are tuned to God and the more people are tuned to God the more the graces flow.

Prayer does not make a difference to God but it does make a difference to us.

This is a very deficient example but if you can imagine a spring.  Whether you come to draw water from the spring makes no difference to the spring but when you do draw water from it when when you are parched then it makes all the difference to you.

Or think of electrical power.  It makes no difference to it whether you plug your bulb to it but it makes a lot of difference to you when you are plugged in and light fills the room.

Prayer is one of the ways that God transforms us from sinners to saints. Suffering too is one of the ways that He does that. It may be that through prayer He will grant you healing or it maybe that He will give you the grace to suffer through it, uniting it to His own suffering on the cross.  Your patient bearing of this suffering helps in the salvatoin of souls though you might not know now how, but you will certainly know it  in the life to come.

One of the things I would suggest is to mediate on the Our Father. You can pray the Our Father the long way allowing it to extend over the day - pausing after each phrase or sentence and meditating over each one. If you are not sure how to do this, I can give you some text that will help you (that is, if you are interested).  Your illness may be God's way of teaching you to slow down and be still and concentrate only on Him.

I knew of a nun who was a real dynamo - building schools and coops and helping people. She very busy and very active. Then she collapsed and was unable to move for a quite a while to the point of needing to be fed. She realized this to be a call to a more contemplative life. When she recovered, she changed her apostolate.

May Our Lord fill you with His peace and grant you healing if it be His will. May His healing course through your veins and every sinew of your flesh regenerating whatever is diseased and renewing all to health and life. Most importantly though, may He grant you the grace to conform your will to His always that as your endure through this cross, you will also be assured of resurrection.

Peace and All Good

Teresa

Offline epiphanius

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 247
  • Manna: 11
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #3 on: Wed Jun 20, 2012 - 11:29:49 »
Teresa,

This is a very nice answer (manna!).

The only thing I would disagree with is that "prayer does not make a difference to God."  While it is true, in one sense, that God is above all earthly vicissitudes and all the conflicts of His creatures, it is also true that He is like the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who saw his son coming "while he was still far off," and ran with eagerness to meet him.  This is the God we serve!

To be blunt, does it make it any more likely for something to be granted to us if more people are praying for it? If so, I find it confusing logically, and it almost seems like a popularity contest in terms of the amount of prayers and number of people praying.

searched_and_found,

Agreement in prayer has to do with our willingness to reach out in charity to one another, and to love each other even as God loves us.  Thus, everyone praying is blessed, and our afflictions become a vehicle by which these blessings occur; God is glorified, and a little more healing is brought into this broken world.

Hardly a "popularity contest."


Father, let your love and healing come upon our new friend, searched_and_found, in Jesus' name.  Amen.


Offline Teresa

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Manna: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #4 on: Thu Jun 21, 2012 - 07:50:15 »
Teresa,

This is a very nice answer (manna!).

The only thing I would disagree with is that "prayer does not make a difference to God."  While it is true, in one sense, that God is above all earthly vicissitudes and all the conflicts of His creatures, it is also true that He is like the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who saw his son coming "while he was still far off," and ran with eagerness to meet him.  This is the God we serve!

Hi Epiphanius,

Thank you.

Actually, it is correct to say that prayer "does not make any difference to God". If it does, then that means that God changes.  But we say that God is unchanging. If God changes then God is not God. We do however, apply antromorphisms to God e..g the Prodigal Father.

So if it does not make a difference to God, why pray?

Because as I have explained before - it changes us. That in the end is what salvation is all about - our transformation into the image of Christ.

Often we think that in praying we move God's heart to acquiescence but God's heart is always in acquiesence for our good becaise He is Love.  To love is to will the good of other - as other.  And that is how God loves us - constantly willing our good.  

The reason we suffer is because of sin - when we turn away from him and turn inward into our selves.  As in the story of the Prodigal Son, the son experienced suffering when He left and wandered into a faraway land getting more and more curved in on himself.  But God's grace always seeks us - moving us to return.

Jesus said that God causes the sun to shine on the good and the bad.  The sun is the sun - it could only shine.  If you go out you will be enveloped in the warmth.  But if you stay indoors - covered - you won't feel it.  

Or think about the rain.  It pours on the good and the bad. But if we have our umbrella's open or we remain under a roof, we won't get wet.

I think salvation is like getting browned by the sun and getting soaked by the rain.

Is God "moved" in the sense that He is pleased when we pray? I believe so, because He wills our good and when we pray we bask and are bathed in sun and rain of His love.  Light and water. Symbols of our baptism. And that is what He wills.

Peace and All Good

Teresa



Christian Forums and Message Board

Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #4 on: Thu Jun 21, 2012 - 07:50:15 »



larry2

  • Guest
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #5 on: Thu Jun 21, 2012 - 08:28:09 »

The reason we suffer is because of sin.


Not always.

2 Corinthians 12:7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me . .

2 Corinthians 12:8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. (Paul prayed)

2 Corinthians 12:9  And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
 
Hebrews 5:8  Though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; (And this was not for Jesus' sin. John 8:29  for I do always those things that please Him.)
 
I will leave a link to a pamphlet I wrote on Christian Sufferings if you're interested; if not that's all right too.

Christian Sufferings Links Parts One & Two
http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/christian-sufferings-part-one-of-two/msg5

http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/christian-sufferings-part-two-of-two/

Offline Teresa

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Manna: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #6 on: Thu Jun 21, 2012 - 08:50:49 »
Not always.

2 Corinthians 12:7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me . .

2 Corinthians 12:8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. (Paul prayed)

2 Corinthians 12:9  And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
 
Hebrews 5:8  Though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; (And this was not for Jesus' sin. John 8:29  for I do always those things that please Him.)
 
I will leave a link to a pamphlet I wrote on Christian Sufferings if you're interested; if not that's all right too.

Christian Sufferings Links Parts One & Two
http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/christian-sufferings-part-one-of-two/msg5

http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/christian-sufferings-part-two-of-two/


Actually ALWAYS.

Although Christ's is not he result of His personal sin, it is still because of sin - our sins. And Christ suffered in His humanity.  If He had remained simply God and had not become Incarnate then He would not have suffered.

And this is precisely why He became Incarnate - that He can overturn sin for at the root of each sin is pride and disobedience. In short idolatry - self-deification. So that links very well with the verses you quoted above.


Peace and All Good

Teresa

Offline JohnDB

  • The Force
  • *********
  • Posts: 117605
  • Manna: 192
  • Gender: Male
  • scarey isn't it?
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #7 on: Thu Jun 21, 2012 - 09:16:21 »
Think hard before hand and when you hsave yourself together pray out loud as if you were having a one sided conversation.

Know also God's strength is exhibited in our weaknesses. 

larry2

  • Guest
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #8 on: Thu Jun 21, 2012 - 09:28:09 »
Not always.

2 Corinthians 12:7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me . .

2 Corinthians 12:8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. (Paul prayed)

2 Corinthians 12:9  And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
 
Hebrews 5:8  Though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; (And this was not for Jesus' sin. John 8:29  for I do always those things that please Him.)
 
I will leave a link to a pamphlet I wrote on Christian Sufferings if you're interested; if not that's all right too.

Christian Sufferings Links Parts One & Two
http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/christian-sufferings-part-one-of-two/msg5

http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/christian-sufferings-part-two-of-two/


Actually ALWAYS.

Although Christ's is not he result of His personal sin, it is still because of sin - our sins. And Christ suffered in His humanity.  If He had remained simply God and had not become Incarnate then He would not have suffered.

And this is precisely why He became Incarnate - that He can overturn sin for at the root of each sin is pride and disobedience. In short idolatry - self-deification. So that links very well with the verses you quoted above.

Peace and All Good

Teresa


Paul was being kept from something; not chastised as it were. His past sin was already forgiven.

Offline Teresa

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Manna: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #9 on: Thu Jun 21, 2012 - 09:34:19 »
Paul was being kept from something; not chastised as it were. His past sin was already forgiven.
Yes, but Paul still sinned even after that.  His lament over his inability to do the good things he wanted to do while doing the bad things he did not want to do captures all our tendencies to sin. This tells us that salvation is not a magic wave of the wand.  Sin has real ontological effect on the soul and this re-shaping into the image of God is a process that lasts a lifetime and even more.

When I have more time tomorrow ( I need to sleep) I will explain in more detail what I mean here and why this is so.

Peace and All Good

Teresa


Offline Teresa

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Manna: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #10 on: Sat Jun 23, 2012 - 07:42:26 »
Paul was being kept from something; not chastised as it were. His past sin was already forgiven.

Hi Larry,

I visited the link you gave and you have done a fair bit of Biblical references there which is good.  I think it would have been better to combine both posts in one thread so that one can continue reading without having to switch threads.  If you are able to merge them since you are a moderator I personally think it is good to do that.

The Bible says a lot of suffering but what I would like to cover here is to relate suffering with an overall theology of salvation.

In Genesis we see that when God created the cosmos everything was good.  As a matter of fact, when everything was created He said it was very good.
There is a Rabbinic teaching that say that God created the universe to be the space for the covenant – the loving yes between Him and man.

However, having been endowed with intellect and free will, Adam and Eve made a grab for deity.  The decision to eat the “fruit of the knowledge of good and evil

larry2

  • Guest
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #11 on: Sat Jun 23, 2012 - 08:33:36 »

Salvation is therefore a process of this re-shaping of our natures.  But God does not re-shape us back to the way it was before the fall.  He had a more glorious plan-to twist us back and forward and upward to the image of His Son. This is a lifelong process.


We are a new creation in Christ - old things have passed away, but we retain a carnal nature experienced by Paul in Romans 7:14-15, 20. 14  I am carnal, sold under sin.15  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

In Christ is our new nature, and being of Adam we have an old or carnal nature. The change comes to us experimentally as God works in us to will, and to do of His good pleasure; it is not our work, but His; we are His workmanship.

How is this accomplished? Romans 8:4. Romans 8:4  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, and do not forget that it is God working in us to do this. Will we brag when we are face to face with our Savior: I kept my fingernail clean all these years, and of course I ate no pork so that I could be saved? No, Hebrews 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.  

In conclusion I would say your following statement is in agreement with me.  Romans 8:28  For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. How does this apply to prayer? Prayer is an indicator of change going on within us.
  

Everything that we get dished out to us is part of this process of our transformation. The illnesss, the sadness, the hurts, the joys, those who disappoint us, those who support us – all these are ingredients in our transformation into the image of Christ.

« Last Edit: Sat Jun 23, 2012 - 08:44:44 by larry2 »

Offline chosenone

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 29353
  • Manna: 523
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #12 on: Sat Jun 23, 2012 - 19:40:31 »
Hello all,

This is my first post ever on this forum, and I'm excited about all that I will be able to learn in the future from you brothers and sisters in Christ. I have a question regarding prayer. I am currently suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and have been for many months now. I pray about it often (as you can imagine), and many friends and family members are praying for me as well.

Which brings me to my question, and that is if God wants me to be well, does it make a difference how many people pray for me? This applies to any situation of prayer. While the Bible clearly instructs us to pray and ask for our needs daily frequently and for others to pray with us in agreement, does it make a difference to God?

To be blunt, does it make it any more likely for something to be granted to us if more people are praying for it? If so, I find it confusing logically, and it almost seems like a popularity contest in terms of the amount of prayers and number of people praying.

Thanks for your input, and, ironically, please pray for me.  ::smile::
Christ said to pray unceasingly and gave the example of the unjust judge and the neighbour who is already asleep.

Therefore we can trust that God does want us to pray as he is not an unjust judge and a sleeping neigbour.

Why does it make a difference? Because when we pray we are aligning ourselves with God.  We are acknowledging our creaturedness which means humility.  The more we pray the more we are tuned to God and the more people are tuned to God the more the graces flow.

Prayer does not make a difference to God but it does make a difference to us.

This is a very deficient example but if you can imagine a spring.  Whether you come to draw water from the spring makes no difference to the spring but when you do draw water from it when when you are parched then it makes all the difference to you.

Or think of electrical power.  It makes no difference to it whether you plug your bulb to it but it makes a lot of difference to you when you are plugged in and light fills the room.

Prayer is one of the ways that God transforms us from sinners to saints. Suffering too is one of the ways that He does that. It may be that through prayer He will grant you healing or it maybe that He will give you the grace to suffer through it, uniting it to His own suffering on the cross.  Your patient bearing of this suffering helps in the salvatoin of souls though you might not know now how, but you will certainly know it  in the life to come.

One of the things I would suggest is to mediate on the Our Father. You can pray the Our Father the long way allowing it to extend over the day - pausing after each phrase or sentence and meditating over each one. If you are not sure how to do this, I can give you some text that will help you (that is, if you are interested).  Your illness may be God's way of teaching you to slow down and be still and concentrate only on Him.

I knew of a nun who was a real dynamo - building schools and coops and helping people. She very busy and very active. Then she collapsed and was unable to move for a quite a while to the point of needing to be fed. She realized this to be a call to a more contemplative life. When she recovered, she changed her apostolate.

May Our Lord fill you with His peace and grant you healing if it be His will. May His healing course through your veins and every sinew of your flesh regenerating whatever is diseased and renewing all to health and life. Most importantly though, may He grant you the grace to conform your will to His always that as your endure through this cross, you will also be assured of resurrection.

Peace and All Good

Teresa
  Its always Gods will that we are healed. Thats why the Bible says 'By his stripes you have been healed'. God isnt the author of sickness. 

Offline Teresa

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Manna: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #13 on: Sun Jun 24, 2012 - 01:09:41 »
Its always Gods will that we are healed. Thats why the Bible says 'By his stripes you have been healed'. God isnt the author of sickness.  
Can you tell me where in my post I said anything to the contrary?  Where did I say that God is the author of sickness?

Peace and All Good

Teresa

Offline Teresa

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Manna: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #14 on: Sun Jun 24, 2012 - 01:35:27 »
We are a new creation in Christ - old things have passed away, but we retain a carnal nature experienced by Paul in Romans 7:14-15, 20. 14  I am carnal, sold under sin.15  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
This text needs more exposition.  If we are a new creation in Christ, then how is it that sin dwells in us?  How is it that the sin that dwells in us has the power over us still if we are a new creation in Christ?

Quote
In Christ is our new nature, and being of Adam we have an old or carnal nature.
But is it not that Christ is the New Adam and thus is supposed to make new creation out of us? If this is so, then how is it that Christ action seems to be unable to make a difference to our carnal nature?

Quote
The change comes to us experimentally as God works in us to will, and to do of His good pleasure; it is not our work, but His; we are His workmanship.
I take issue with the word experimentally because if "experimentally" then God it seems is not sure how to go about things- how best to bring about our transformation.

Rather I would say that in our transformation God allow us the free choice to cooperate with His grace or not - we can therefore reject it or accept it.

Quote
In conclusion I would say your following statement is in agreement with me.  Romans 8:28  For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. How does this apply to prayer? Prayer is an indicator of change going on within us.
I particularly love that last sentence ( I think quite brilliant) "Prayer is an indicator of change going on within us". This is because prayer is always first and foremost God's intiative.  It is always He who calls us to this dialogue.  We only respond.
  

Peace and All Good

Teresa
« Last Edit: Sun Jun 24, 2012 - 05:14:42 by Teresa »

Offline Teresa

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Manna: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #15 on: Sun Jun 24, 2012 - 05:32:52 »
I was trying to think of an analogy for prayer and the necessity for our own response and I think this might help.

Imagine a baby being fed by his father.

The father is holding the spoon for the baby to open his mouth but instead the baby vigorously shakes his head because he does not want to eat. The only time that the baby will get fed is when he decides to finally open his mouth and take the food being offered.  

Prayer I think is like that.  

God is continually offering us nourishment (he makes the sun shine on the good and the bad). But like the child above, we close our mouths and push away the hand holding the spoon, sometimes slapping the spoon so the food falls to the ground. But the Good Father that He is, God scoops out some food once more and offers it again and again, never tiring - always patient - until we finally decide that we are indeed hungry and want to eat.  It takes a lot of soul searching and a lowering of our pride to finally admit that we are indeed.... hungry.

Peace and All Good

Teresa



« Last Edit: Sun Jun 24, 2012 - 06:16:11 by Teresa »

larry2

  • Guest
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #16 on: Sun Jun 24, 2012 - 08:57:58 »
We are a new creation in Christ - old things have passed away, but we retain a carnal nature experienced by Paul in Romans 7:14-15, 20. 14  I am carnal, sold under sin.15  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  20  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
This text needs more exposition.  If we are a new creation in Christ, then how is it that sin dwells in us?  How is it that the sin that dwells in us has the power over us still if we are a new creation in Christ?

Quote
In Christ is our new nature, and being of Adam we have an old or carnal nature.
But is it not that Christ is the New Adam and thus is supposed to make new creation out of us? If this is so, then how is it that Christ action seems to be unable to make a difference to our carnal nature?

Quote
The change comes to us experimentally as God works in us to will, and to do of His good pleasure; it is not our work, but His; we are His workmanship.
I take issue with the word experimentally because if "experimentally" then God it seems is not sure how to go about things- how best to bring about our transformation.

Rather I would say that in our transformation God allow us the free choice to cooperate with His grace or not - we can therefore reject it or accept it.

Quote
In conclusion I would say your following statement is in agreement with me.  Romans 8:28  For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. How does this apply to prayer? Prayer is an indicator of change going on within us.
I particularly love that last sentence ( I think quite brilliant) "Prayer is an indicator of change going on within us". This is because prayer is always first and foremost God's intiative.  It is always He who calls us to this dialogue.  We only respond.
  
Peace and All Good

Teresa

Our new creation is our new Godly nature, but we will retain the flesh or carnal nature until we are present with Jesus. All things become new to us, but we can miss the mark as it were in following our Lord. It is Him doing the work in us; not us doing that transformation of overcoming the flesh. When we go after the Holy Spirit's leading instead of our flesh, God fulfills the righteousness of the law in us; not by us. It is then we experience the effects of the work going on in us.
 
Once we are in Christ by the new birth, God sees us in Him and not in Adam, but there remains submitting to God to observe growth in the word, and fruit of the Spirit in our lives. This same growth was noted in Jesus as He learned obedience, or experienced it by the things He suffered. He didn't have to learn to be good; He was because He did always those things that pleased the Father. In this same thinking, God is pleased with us in this new nature of our Savior; when our Father looks at us, He sees only Christ in us, and as Paul exclaimed after his battle with the flesh in Romans Chapter Seven, "There is therefore (Taking into account all he had just said.) now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." 

Like the cliché, be patient with me, God isn't finished with me yet.

Offline Teresa

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Manna: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Prayer- why?
« Reply #17 on: Mon Jun 25, 2012 - 06:30:12 »
Our new creation is our new Godly nature, but we will retain the flesh or carnal nature until we are present with Jesus.
But if this is so, then that means Christ's sacrfice is not strong enough or powerful enough to conquer our carnal nature.  If His grace is unable to conquer our carnal nature, then what is the point of His dying?

Quote
All things become new to us, but we can miss the mark as it were in following our Lord.
I am not sure what you mean here exactly. What do you mean when you say "all things become new to us"?

Quote
 It is Him doing the work in us; not us doing that transformation of overcoming the flesh.
That, I totally agree with - 100%.  However, He will not force transformation on us.  Because it is the will the chooses to sin, (and we choose that freely), we must also choose freely not to sin and thus choose Christ. And it is the will that Christ means to transform.  
It is with the will that we say yes to Christ and that assent He cannot force from us because it was God choice to give us free will.

Quote
 When we go after the Holy Spirit's leading instead of our flesh, God fulfills the righteousness of the law in us; not by us.
I dont know exactly what you mean when you say "God fulfills the righteousness of the law in us".  Can you give an example?

Quote
Once we are in Christ by the new birth, God sees us in Him and not in Adam, but there remains submitting to God to observe growth in the word, and fruit of the Spirit in our lives.  
I think this understanding of justification again is very forensic and very much leans toward the snow-covered-dungheap of Martin Luther.
Going by that statement it would seem that God lies to Himself - seeing us in Christ - when in fact we are still in Adam.
If all that is needed is for God to see us in Christ, what is the point of Christ's Incarnation?

Quote
This same growth was noted in Jesus as He learned obedience, or experienced it by the things He suffered. He didn't have to learn to be good; He was because He did always those things that pleased the Father.  
And that is exactly what I have been saying here and in other threads.  Jesus came to overturn the disobdience of Adam. Because God has taken on our humanity, therefore by Christ's obedience unto death, He has redeemed the "human gene" so to speak.  Now the human being - through Christ and in Christ - able to be obedient to God.  This is what "planting the law in our hearts" mean.  

Quote
In this same thinking, God is pleased with us in this new nature of our Savior; when our Father looks at us, He sees only Christ in us, and as Paul exclaimed after his battle with the flesh in Romans Chapter Seven, "There is therefore (Taking into account all he had just said.) now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." 
That again is one of the flaws in Protestant exegesis that stem from a forensic understanding of justification.  If you look at that phrase that I have highlighted, then it would seem that God lies to Himself - tellng Himself we are good even though we remain sinful because all he can see is Christ. But that again sounds like the snow-covered dungheap. Is God really like that - unable to see our real sinful state?

I don't think so. While there certainly is no condemnation in Christ (because His death is precisely for that- to remove the condemnation) that verse does not say that we are already sanctified.  We won't enter heaven unless we are fully sanctified.

Quote
Like the cliché, be patient with me, God isn't finished with me yet.

Yes! We are not saved but we are BEING saved. Our salvation is not over until we are in heaven. So till then, we are still a work in progress - therefore not saved.

A pot being moulded by the Potter is not a pot until the Potter is finished making the pot. Till that time, it is a pot in the making.

Peace and All Good

Teresa