2 Peter 1:5…
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
In my drawing of a fruit bearing tree, the rain is “knowledge”.
Some years ago I woke in the early morning. It was a time when John and I still slept in the same bed. I felt compelled to pray, “God, please bring us some rain.” It was during the season of drought and many people I know were praying for rain. I was NOT one of those people. I had other prayers on my heart and mind. I knew rain was desperately needed, but I figured others had that base covered in prayer. So I was a bit surprised to find myself praying for rain.
Within a minute I heard raindrops on the outside of our bedroom window/door. It was not rain season. I heard the raindrops for just a minute and then it stopped. I asked John, “Did you just hear rain?”
“Yes,” John answered, “that was weird.”
I sensed right away, it wasn’t that I willfully prayed for rain and God obeyed my prayer. I had a sense that God PUT that prayer on my heart, knowing God was about to let me hear the rain falling.
Today’s devotion reading from “Wondrous Encounters” discusses this very concept. Wow, I thought I had a divinely inspired original idea! Turns out, it may have been divinely inspired, but it’s not original.
Richard Rohr writes:
…Did you know that you only ask for what you have already begun to experience? Otherwise it would never occur to you to ask for it. Further, God seems to plant within us the desire to pray for what God already wants to give us, and even better, God has already begun to give it to us! We are always just seconding the motion, but the first motion is always and forever from God. The fact that you prayed at all means God just started giving to you a second ago. Isn’t that wonderful to know! He makes a further point that if we, “with all of our sinfulness,” would not fail to respond to another, than how much more God.
These days there are a lot of words easily and carelessly thrown out regarding prayer.
“We are praying for ….”
“I will keep you in my prayers….”
“Pray, pray, pray…”
As a friend pointed out, if there is so much praying going on, why aren’t things better. My answer, 1) God gave us free will and has chosen to allow us to act and suffer our consequences 2) I’m not sure we all are actually praying as much as we SAY we are praying, easier said than done and 3) God did not promise to answer every prayer, God promises to answer prayers in line with the God of Love’s will…
1 John 5:
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
I know this can lead us down a rabbit hole about faith and theology, and I am more than happy to have those conversations with ya’ll…you know I am.
A seed is planted in the ground – that is step 1. It will die and wither unless it gets some water – rain is step 2.
To faith (seed) add goodness (soil, manure, dirt), to goodness add knowledge (rain)… It takes work to get your faith to bear fruit and without fruit, faith is pointless.
17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Knowledge is Bible study, devotion reading, sermon listening, history studying.
Here are the full pages of today’s devotion reading. Blessings upon us all. Thanks for God’s grace.