Posted at 4:32 PM
I realized something today while listening to Christian talk radio: Prayer does not validate the decisions we make. Whenever we have to make a decision, we usually pray. Sometimes, we have the tendency to conclude that, if we prayed about it, whatever choice we make is the "right" one. I think, in some cases, what it comes down to is just our freedom of choice, and that, since we prayed over the issue, and depend on God for it, He makes the decision work for our best. It is the dynamic between our freedom of choice and His sovereign will...
But, there are those occasions, where there is, absolutely only one right choice, and just because we pray about it, doesn't mean we'll make it. For instance, in my first year at STP, Alex Schweng got to talking to Albert, one of the workers at Pine Valley. He found out that Albert was part of a church that believed that the King James Version was the only true word of God. He explained that, when he first heard about this ideaology, he questioned it at first, but after months of praying about it, he felt it was true and began following it. He may have read some material about it, but whatever he read, the truth of the matter is he didn't read the right material. Given the proper information, he in no way could have made the conclusion that the KJV was the only true word of God. In actuality, the KJV is based on relatively new manuscripts(older to us in the present day, cuz we found them earlier), and the new translations of the day, NIV and NASB and the others, are based on older manuscripts (newer to us cuz we found them later) which are, therefore, closer to the original. The verses that the newer translations are "missing" were never in the original manuscripts in the first place. So, if you're going to be picky about ANYthing, it would be that the KJV has added verses to it (which are explained by the intent to clarify or expand upon a simpler text).
So what's my point? My point is, prayer is important in making decisions...but that doesn't replace basic decision making skills. The fact is, you can't make a correct decision without knowing all the facts first. Praying isn't going to give you the facts. Unfortunately, it is usually the case that we don't know what we don't know...we usually don't even know the right questions to ask. That's where we pray for guidance. I think this is most relevant we people pray over relationships and what not. The question usually asked is, "Is this right?" And no matter how hard you soul search and ask around and even pray for it, you won't actually know how the relationship will affect you until you are in it. There are sometimes when you know you're not ready to get into one, and yet it is completely possible where you might think you are ready, but years down the line, you realize you aren't. Does that mean that it was God's will to break your heart in this way? No, its just the consequence of your decision. But He will make the consequences work for your own good, no matter what decision you made. And it isn't a haphazard "oh, I can fix this" thing from God. You will become who God has always intended you to be, and yet completely yourself because of the decisions YOU made.