Praying to a Big God – Avoiding Statue Prayer
In my last post I mentioned the observation that many of us who think we are Big Godders, have places in our life where God is still little.
This realisation made me want to change how I prayed.
First a little context, how do Christians pray in wrong ways? I’ve noticed two extremes where we can pray, thinking we’re praying to a Big God, but really, we’re praying with a broken view of God.
On the one side of the extreme is what I (have just decided to) call ‘Statue Prayer’: “God will just do it, I just need to wait until it happens” type of prayer. Of course, there is an element of truth to this prayer of faith. It is recognising that God is big enough to answer the prayer. However, I’ve seen people in this state get very wounded by this posture. Why?
Because this posture of prayer is saying, “I don’t have to do anything but wait for God”. It’s like you’re a statue, helpless to partner with God in his solution. If God’s solution is that you have to move towards Him to get the answer by some action, then if you’re praying like a statue, you’ll never see the answer to that prayer*. Often God has an action for us to DO in order to see His solution to the problem we are bringing him.
John 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.
People who do statue prayer can easily get wounded. When prayers go unanswered, they start to assume God can’t, or doesn’t want to answer their prayer. Now we have a Little God all of a sudden.
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
If you realise you’ve got some things you’ve been bringing to God but acting like a statue in, I’d encourage you to just go through some steps of repentance–say sorry to God for not listening to the steps He has for you, and ask Him to forgive you/clean you out of any views of Him that aren’t right. Little God views.
In the next post I’ll tackle the other extreme on this spectrum.
*I would add that there are, of course, times when God does want you just to wait for Him to answer some prayers. But I would clarify that you want to only wait passively for God once He has made it clear that there are no actions for you to do.