When God Seems Distant

Published on October 21, 2009 by CT in Blog, Prayers

7

When God Seems Distant

A prayer when praying to a seemingly distant God…

Father:

Forgive, that I may be restored.

Receive, that I may honor you with rightful praise.

Hear, that I may enter your presence.

Listen, that I may speak my heart.

Speak, that I may hear your voice and follow.

Reach, that my desire might be for you.

Touch, that my confidence may be restored.

Heal, that my brokenness may be made whole.

Move, that I might believe you are within me.

Act, that I may learn to trust you with all I am.

Love, that I may be known by you.

  • Michael Drake

    Fantastic! One thing I would mention is we don't need to ask God to forgive, He already has! That is what the cross was all about. It is really more about us confessing …It is a little nuance, but I think many times the enemy uses this to make us feel guilt and separation from our loving Father when there may be none

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Chris_Tomlinson Chris_Tomlinson

      Michael, I've actually been thinking about this a lot recently. There's the tension of "there's no condemnation for us in Christ Jesus" with "Father, forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors." I know confession and repentance are an active part of our faith, but there seems to be a question about whether we should continually ask for forgiveness, particularly given our view of the sufficiency of the atonement. I'd love to hear any other thoughts you have to share on the subject.

      • Michael Drake

        Hey Chris…this is a journey the Lord has been taking me through for the past year. It really jumped out at me one day as I meditated on 1st John 1:9. He clearly commands us to "confess our sins" in this scripture and as a result of our confession He forgives and cleanses…
        Actually I have not seen any passages where we are commanded to ask for forgiveness from Him. We are to forgive others but that is again due to the fact that He first forgave us (and even here we are to forgive without necessarily having been asked for forgiveness).
        The command for us always seems to be Repent…Maybe it even goes so far as to say Forgiveness is not something that can be ask for it can only be given. Kind of like Trust which can really only be given
        Anyhoo, let me know what you think and thank you for your awesome insight!!

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/Chris_Tomlinson Chris_Tomlinson

          Good thoughts, Michael. So what do you make of the "Father, forgive us our debts" example in the Lord's prayer? That one seems to stick out to me, although I agree with you that expressions of confession and repentance seem far more prevalent.

          • Michael Drake

            Funny you should mention that..it popped into my mind right after I posted:). But reading that again… Forgive us our debts as we forgive those who have trespassed against us. I believe the Lord is saying that you must forgive others that have sinned against you because I first forgave you, but He does not appear to be saying ask Me(God) for forgiveness. And again He is letting us know that He has already forgiven all of our sins past, present and future with His death on the cross so we have no choice but to love others and give them the forgiveness he has already bestowed upon us.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Chris_Tomlinson Chris_Tomlinson

    I'm going to keep pushing you because you have such great thoughts =). So when Jesus said, "Pray then like this…Father…forgive us our debts," do you think that fits in the category of Him teaching us to ask God for forgiveness? I think you're definitely on the right track, that our sins past, present, and future were forgiven on the cross, that we are to forgive others, and that the bent towards confession/repentance does seem more prevalent in other parts of Scripture. But there's still the Lord's prayer sitting there…

    Let me know what you think.

  • Michael Drake

    :0) I don't think you should take the first part of the verse without the second… (Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive them that trespass against us. ). Now if I take this in a literal sense or in a worldly view or out of context of the complete scriptures then to me this would be a conditional statement… God will not forgive us until we forgive others. If this is the case then we can throw out grace since we will be working to receive our forgiveness, i,e. the work of forgiving others who have sinned against us.
    However when we lay this along side of the scripture that God gives us regarding our salvation and how it has absolutely nothing to do with our works but everything to to with His Love and Grace, then I see that God is commanding me to forgive others just as He forgave me.
    So I am back to believing that God wants us to repent and through that act of repentance I am admitting to God that I was wrong, that I am not God but that He is and that He again has Lordship over my life.
    One more thought, doing a little research I am reading that it is very Old Testament and a staple of Jewish prayer to continually ask for forgiveness of sins (ritual sacrifices, cleansing, , etc). That is the old covenant.
    And now "My mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening thru a cosmic vapor of invention!" as I am thinking of the many scriptures Paul uses to differentiate between the Law and Grace and how the New Covenant is about Forgiveness and the Law which is/was about condemnation which in turn requires asking for forgiveness whereas grace is not about condemnation and with Christ there is no condemnation which means there is no need to ask for forgiveness…. Sorry I babble!
    Maybe this would work better over a cup of coffee:)