Posted by: Heather | November 7, 2011

Humility and Answered Prayers

I have a question: is it prideful to share answered prayers?

I think this is like the question “Am I gossiping?” in that if you have to ask, you can be pretty sure you’re doing something wrong. When does a testimony about something God has done become more about glorifying oneself than God? Isn’t there an implicit assumption that we somehow earned or merited God’s special attention to our cause? Perhaps we’re trying to show we’re so very fervent and righteous that we can just pray down whatever blessings we feel like whenever we want. And with deceitfully wicked hearts, would we ever know our own motives for sharing?

In one sense, this is a real question I have because I want to publicly praise God for a little piece of grace, a little crumb that fell from his great table to sustain me this day. I am really grateful! But I suddenly feel weird about it, like it could be read as bragging. That’s not the goal at all.

In another sense, I could be wondering about it because of Abraham’s prayer. Perhaps there’s something there that I’m to learn. I’m watching for something involving pride, humility, and prayer.

In the meantime, it is interesting that God both did and didn’t answer Abraham’s prayer: he did answer it–as far as we can tell–in that had there been 10 righteous, he wouldn’t have destroyed it, probably, but the goal of the prayer to save the city wasn’t accomplished. Was Abraham too humble? What if he had spoken just one or two more times? I really don’t think the Lord is leading me to be less humble (!).

Maybe as I wait this one out, I can at least take something practical from the way Abraham, friend of God (as Sarah’s post on Lech Lecha reminded me) approaches the King of the Universe. For a friend, Abraham takes no liberties. He is not casual in his speech or demeanor. I can begin by learning from that.

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