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Author Topic: Do they pray to the same God?  (Read 2629 times)

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Extol

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Do they pray to the same God?
« on: December 16, 2009, 04:37:54 PM »

I feel a bit strange when I am at family get-togethers and they pray at the meal (or whenever). Sometimes they ask me to pray, and I get uncomfortable and decline. Does anybody else feel like this? Is it wrong of me to feel this way? My parents have a basic understanding of what I believe, but we never talk about it. I think they just feel that Ray is a cult or something and I'll eventually grow out of it. Should I just go along with it and pray with them and enjoy myself? Would that be an example of "becoming all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." ? [1 Cor. 9:22-23]
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Do they pray to the same God?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 05:22:23 PM »

When I was younger and 'spiritual', I was often asked to lead the prayer at mealtime or whatever.  My mom made the comment once that 'you pray the prettiest prayers'.  That wasn't what was on my heart at all, and I shut down.  I went so far once as to reply, "I wasn't talking to you."  I didn't want to perform like a praying chimp.  I was at the same time being puffed up, and resisting that flattery.  Very confusing.  But I eventually stopped praying in public.

These days, to 'say the blessing' would often require me to stop praying so I could mutter something appropriate to the occassion.   :D

But they don't ask me any more.  If they did, I believe I would try to pray 'by the rules' and let the chips fall where they may.  Why not pray with them?  We're really not 'talking to them' after all.  I think that scripture applies here pretty well.  And I guess it's up to them if they allow you to enjoy yourself or make things troublesome.  In all things, rejoice, for this is the will of the Father for you.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 12:11:16 AM by Dave in Tenn »
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

cjwood

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Re: Do they pray to the same God?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 06:07:10 PM »

right after my daddy died in '04, my family used to call on me all the time to pray when we were together at family get togethers.  they used to tell me also, like dave, that 'you say the prettiest prayers'.  i know also that for awhile i was enjoying the status of family pray-er, since dad was gone.  but then, i was led to BT and the rest is history.  family no longer looks to me to be the pray-er anymore.  but, i take that as testament that everything ray teaches on this site about christians not wanting to hear the Truths, evidenced in the Scriptures, is absolutely true.  we are outcasts in our own family, whenever it comes to 'traditions of men'. 

claudia
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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Do they pray to the same God?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 06:32:12 PM »

Hello Extol

The scriptures are not literal . Paul’s motivation was for “the sake of the gospel, “ not for the sake of fitting in with the crowd.

Remember too that Christ identified who His family were as those being obedient to God.  Does this mean that Paul was disobedient? Of course not. Paul, for the sake of the gospel that he could share in its blessings, became all things to all men so that by all possible means… 1Co 1:21 …. since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom did not know God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe.

I understand and empathise that it may be quite difficult to not go along with tradition, or to be seen as the odd one out, that the line of least resistance may appear attractive to you as you say quote :.... just go along with it and pray with them and enjoy myself unquote.

Would you really be able to enjoy yourself? I wonder about that. I think that God
is putting you into the discomfort of traditions that you know do not please Him. It cannot be easy for you.

1Pe 5:6  Therefore be humbled under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time,

HUMBLE G5011
ταπεινός
tapeinos
tap-i-nos'
Of uncertain derivation; depressed, that is, (figuratively) humiliated (in circumstances or disposition): - base, cast down, humble, of low degree (estate), lowly.


Arc
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hillsbororiver

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Re: Do they pray to the same God?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2009, 08:00:14 PM »

Hi Extol,

My take on this is a bit different as I view it as an opportunity to witness rather than succumbing to anyone's preconceived ideas of what words a "good" prayer are supposed to contain. Have you considered that perhaps the reason you are being asked is that on some level they are getting a glimpse of the Light that is in you? Are we to hide that Light or decline an invitation to spiritually feed those who we know need a morsel of nourishment from above? Could this be a "seed planting" opportunity?

I don't know why you are being asked to lead a prayer, is it just your turn so to speak or are you being asked for another reason, a reason they (or you) are presently not consciously aware of?


1Pe 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Again, what is the reason they are asking?

I have been put in this position at times and rather than offering up a bunch of traditional "church speak" words I gave a heartfelt thanks not only for the blessing of being gathered together with family and friends to enjoy good food and good company but most of all to thank God for Jesus Christ, who is the Savior of ALL MEN.

For example you could base your prayer on 1Timothy 2:4-5;


1Ti 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
 
1Ti 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Look at the alternatives, what are you going to do while someone else is praying words that you may not be in agreement with? Are you solemnly bowing your head in a tacit (implied) agreement to escape the possibility that you might be misunderstood or worse? The answer is between you and God and as Deborah (Arcturus) stated He often puts us in uncomfortable situations (as He perfects us).

The question is, how do we respond? Take the path of the least resistance or as a light in a dark place?

I can tell you from my own experience I have had a few very interesting conversations after one of my "untraditional" words of thanks to God, and there is no need for us to be uncomfortable in praising Him in public if our heart is truly praising Him rather than pleasing men.

Please do not take this as an admonition or even as advice as to what you must do, think about it, pray about it and when the situation presents itself again ask for His Spirit to lead you.

Peace,

Joe
   

 

     
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Extol

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Re: Do they pray to the same God?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2009, 09:13:15 PM »

Thank you for your replies, my friends.
 It is indeed a blessing for me to be in the midst of such wisdom! I thank God for you.  :)
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Ninny

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Re: Do they pray to the same God?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2009, 09:55:50 PM »

Extol, I agree with Joe..sometimes people may see something in you that draws them..I have family members who ask me to pray for them personally and I never feel out of place or awkward..but that's just the way it has been all along. Even though they haven't all agreed  with or even understood what I believe, they know that I do believe that God is in control..I think that is one thing people see. If you truly live your life as an example to others..Even though I have not been the most shining example, God is with me and guides me..other people will somehow know this...not that I am anything, but with God I am everything!! For people who are weak it is your strength that will draw them to you.. There is no shame in giving God thanks out loud...it's your spirit that will come through..there is no need for eloquent or elaborate prayers just the sweet gentle spirit in which you pray..
That's just the way I see it!
Kathy ;)
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