Prayer Is Like A Tree Growing in Systematic Theology, Or Eat My Mysticism

My job ends this week. Thursday morning I’ll be unemployed. Not really, as I’ve been working a part time job in addition to my full time gig for well over a year – but the part time gig won’t pay the mortgage.

I just applied for a great job. It pays considerably more than I earn now, is far more steady than the field I’ve been working in for 7 years, and I know two people who either have held the same position or still do who can recommend me. And in this economy – in this town – it really is all about connections. And so I’m desperately hoping.

Many of you in the comments to my post announcing I was losing my job said you were praying. Thank you. Truly. You’ve never met me and yet you’re praying. That’s 8 shades of beautiful.

I wonder about prayer. I wonder why we pray for things that are out of God’s control. Of course some say “WHAT?! God is in control!” But he doesn’t control people. God doesn’t use the HR person as a puppet to pick who God wants for the job. The HR person is going to pick who they will pick. I suppose God could EASILY control the HR person but in my opinion God has chosen against taking control over his people.

And yet I believe in prayer. Could I write a systematic theology paper on prayer? Absolutely not, it would sound more like a Psalm. I don’t know how well we can break down prayer –  it really is this mystical thing, much to the dismay of the Calvinists.

So all that to say – thank you. I don’t know what it will do, but thank you for doing it.

(by the way I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of my blog post title. I’m self proclaiming myself a genius.)

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15 Responses to Prayer Is Like A Tree Growing in Systematic Theology, Or Eat My Mysticism

  1. I don’t know that God will necessarily direct the heart of the HR person, but I also don’t think it’s any coincidence that there are 2 people already ahead of you to be in your corner. Nor do I think that it’s out of God’s control that you’re current job is closing down. And, if the heart of the king is in God’s hand, why not the heart of the HR director? I DO think that you will land somewhere that you will be useful to God, and that He knows exactly where that is. I don’t know what prayer will do either…but thanks to you, I feel a new post coming on…..

  2. ps…any idea when you’ll know about the potential new job?

  3. Who needs Systematic Theology anyway? Pray for you.

  4. Larry Hughes says:

    Charlie:

    My mother in law was the most positive thinking person I had ever known. She always felt that things work out for the best despite how the issues appeared. She had a lot of faith and believed in God’s power. Usually she was right 95% of the time while she was alive.

    It is human nature to pray for this or that whether we deserve it or not. Only God knows what is to transpire and to what benefit. If this job was meant to be for you, I am confident the HR person will be led to pick you. I will pray for you.

  5. David says:

    Hey Charlie – I am praying for you. I am praying that you get the job that you are hoping to – in Jesus’ name!

    Our faith needs to work in conjunction with what God is doing. It is good to to listen for what God is doing. I find that I don’t really know what I need. In these times of unrest, it is hard to calm ourselves to hear God, but like the disciples in the storm, it can be done.

    I have a friend that has been sick for nearly 10 years with an intestinal disease. It has destroyed her and her family. Recently she contacted me (we went to ministry school together). I have been praying for every day for a number of months now – Jesus just heal her and restore her family. I got a text from her, and she is in the hospital. The surgeon feels that with surgery that he can clear up her condition and she can live a normal life again. After 10 years!

    There are many types of prayers, but sometimes we just have to keep knocking.

    • it is true we don’t know what we really need. We constantly hear stories of how the unexpected turns life takes end up working out far better than whatever present circumstances we hated to see disappear.

      Great story of persistence – a good lesson for me to hear right now.

  6. Carla says:

    Charlie, I read your post this morning before we left for church and I’ve been thinking about how to respond all day. I will try to be brief. First of all you are right in saying that God can’t control people, but He can change hearts. Just as Nehemiah asked God to grant him success by making Nehemiah favorable to King Artaxerxes we can God to soften the hearts of HR people to favor us. Whenever I am pray for things like employment I read Nehemiah and numerous Psalms. While God doesn’t control people He can play a big role in getting a job.

    My mother in law, who is a very faith-filled woman, always speaks as if the things we have asked for have come to pass. They might not have manifested yet, but if we are obedient, God will answer our prayers (because if we are obedient we are usually praying withing His will). So if someone get’s a call saying they didn’t get a job they interviewed for my mom-in-law will say, “Praise God! That means God has a better job for you! You didn’t want to take this one when God already has a better job ready for you!” Bless her Hebrews 1 type faith.

    That being said. I completely understand what you are going through, and I understand wondering what the heck God is thinking/doing. I was laid off in October. My husband and I moved to our current location because of my job and a ministry that he was apart of. Well, my job no longer exists and that ministry fell through. The scripture I cling to is Matthew 6:26-27 “26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.” This time of leanness has been a challenge, but it has also been a time of tremendous faith growth. I will admit that there were nights Mark and I laid awake and wondered out loud what God’s plan was/is in all of this and admitted to the Father that we were not feeling very joyful in Jesus’ so-called light. But we still clung to the faith that the Lord would take care of us and not let us end up homeless. And He has, and I can only say that it has been miraculous, the ways God has come through for us. And He will come through for you as well. You are very important to the Lord and your obedience and faith will be rewarded. God has a job for you, He has a way out, rest in that. Ok I have one more verse to leave you with and I will be done. 1 Corinthians 10:13 “13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

    • Carla says:

      Doy, I meant Hebrews 11 type faith! Oops!

      • thanks Carla for your reply. I actually had an opportunity to stay on with the company that is closing for two more months, but it fell through as I couldn’t coordinate it with my part time job. I’ve been saying that just means I’ll find something soon. I’m doing cover letters in between replying to comments right now, but I refuse to put ads on my blog!

        And for the record God teaching patience is well, a very trying experience. Thank you for comments Carla.

  7. Pingback: Blogs you need to read, part 1 | The Screaming Kettle at Home

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