Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pray for anything

Pray for anything! Even for a mate

Have you heard the song where it goes, "everything to God in prayer"? There are passages in the New Testament that refer to praying about all things. Some folks think this is an extreme statement about everything. When I was new in the faith, I heard references to hyper-religious (or hyper-spiritual) people that pray for guidance about what clothes they should wear that day. That kind of praying can be quite compulsive, like someone who gives thanks for the food they are eating before every bite! There are times when I leave the house and suddenly have an opportunity that arises where I wish I had worn something different. Let's say I am on my way to the gym and get inspired to serve the homeless on a cold winter day. Those are days I wish I had asked God what I should wear, and so far, I have never had that happen so I just wear whatever I think I need that day. God gave me a brain, and I try to use it. I can also check the weather to see if I get to wear long johns that day (am I talking about prayer or underwear? anyway, I do enjoy a cozy set of long johns...)

When it comes to praying about all things, "or all kinds of things" is how I like to think about it, its nice to know that we CAN bring anything to God, no matter how small of great. If you are worried about issues with clothes, pray about it. If you are naked, ask God for some threads and then go on with your day. If your landlord is bothering you, or your bank account is messed up, take it to the Lord in prayer. This creates a double blessing, perhaps a triple or more blessing: God delights to give to us and help us, thus drawing closer, you get an answered prayer and you may even get to share to others about how God answers prayers.

Something I have noticed since coming out and integrating my faith into my life being openly gay, is that I find that there are things I have to work at when mending these two identities together. When I was with my first partner, I found that my prayers were amazingly answered when I would pray for him. Then I found that God really would show up in our relationship when we would pray together. However, when I became single, I did not pray much about relationships. It may have been a habit, but even though I believed that God loved me and blessed me as I was, I still in my thinking connected dating with something that was going to take me away from God. For instance, if a date came over for a visit, I would hide my bibles and not mention anything about my faith in fear of loosing a potential lover. I also had guilt when it came to same-sex courting and sexuality that I was overcoming.

Then I realized that being a Christian gay meant that God was a part of my gay life, and all parts of my gay life including meeting other men to date. This has been hard for me because of years of thinking that pursuing men was a sin, now I am getting God Himself involved?! Indeed so. I can ask God to...

Create opportunities to meet someone special
Help me with wisdom in ways to meet others
Be with me when I meet with someone
Give me discernment about who to stay away from
Keep me safe from harmful people
Bless, lead and draw to God the person that I am dating
Open doors that are of God and close doors that are not

I have found that there were times in my single life where I felt drawn to pursue something careless or impulsive and knowing that I was headed for a harmful experience. Even in my blind drive for instant-intimacy and my "urge to merge", I have found myself asking the Lord to intervene. Its easy for guys to meet, men don't often say "no"and its too easy these days for gays to sleep around a lot, but I find it very hard to do so. I am grateful that God interrupts so many of my endeavors and stops my plans. There are even times when I don't even remember praying at all but I can see God's hand working in a situation like this. God really keeps me out of trouble, but I must remember that if I want something bad enough, God will give up fighting me and leave me to my own devices. I sure don't want to be where God's love and protection is not. I want God involved in every area of my life. I don't want compartments in my life that I try to keep from my spiritual life.

"...we ought to act with God in the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him frankly and plainly, and imploring His assistance in our affairs, just as they happen. "
Brother Lawrence - Practice of the Presence of God
Many of us grew up without parents that we could approach about anything and I think we tend to see God in the same ways we view mothers and fathers. It is God's pleasure to "give us the kingdom", which is a lot when I think about it. I love to give but I am pretty limited, but I would feel weird if I had everything and humans were not asking, even the ones closest to me.
So ask God about every kind of need in your life. God likes it! We all get blessed, go for it!

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