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Praying for a complete stranger

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1theexiledlibrarian
Jun 16, 2012, 11:00pm Top

Today I went to the mall, and a young woman stopped me and asked if she can pray for me. Kind of a surprise, given where we were. She said she noticed I was limping (I do; hip replacement, and some days are better than others). It took me by surprise, but I said she could and and thanked her and started to walk away. She then added that she often prayed for people and they got well, even a broken back. Ooookkkkaayyy. It made me feel that she felt HER prayers were the special ones, that got answered. Not my theology. So I told her it was a hip replacement, thanked her and walked away.

I've no idea if she just felt led to talk to me and make the offer, or if she makes a practice of accosting people in the mall. She seemed sincere. Me, if I see a stranger in a bad way, I send a private silent prayer. I would never stop, call attention to the afflction in a public place, and offer to pray. I was not particularly offended, but I think others might be.

For the record, I'm a long-time Methodist, and a pastor's spouse. I believe in prayer. If she wants to pray for me, that's ok, but I don't think her prayers are going to suddenly fix my hip. The answer to my prayer about that was a brilliant surgeon who, 10 years ago, was able to make repairs on a complicated medical problem, so that I can now walk relatively pain-free.

Opinions? Do you think she was out of line, or just answering to the Holy Spirit? Or this just a form of evangelism that's outside my comfort zone?

2richardbsmith
Edited: Jun 17, 2012, 12:26am Top

I would like to know if your hip gets better. :)

Evangelism is probably outside most of our comfort zones; however, I accept all prayers on my behalf.

The question though about praying for strangers:

What do you do for the person on the street with a sign that says homeless, please help.
What do you do when you hear a siren or see an ambulance speeding to the hospital.

3fuzzi
Jun 17, 2012, 12:23am Top

I think it was a sweet thing to do, and possibly difficult for her to initiate. If someone offers to pray for me, it certainly isn't going to hurt anything.

And God does use prayer, to not only heal physically, but to bless others in a real if not purely physically way. Who knows what good her prayers for you might do, for her or others?

I would reciprocate her prayers. :)

4Osbaldistone
Jun 17, 2012, 3:23am Top

1. The fact that she asked first may simply reflect her sensitivity to people of other faiths that resent being included in one's spiritual practices (the Mormon practice of baptising the deceased, for example).

2. The fact that she told you her prayers were often effective may simply have been to offer you further encouragement and hope.

3. In the Methodist church I am a member of, we had a woman who became quite wrapped up in her call to begin a prayer ministry. First it was 'trained' prayer partners available after worship services, but then it grew into trips to the mall with members of her prayer team to directly interact with people and pray for them. As I understood it, prayer team members were to approach whoever the Spirit led them to approach and follow the Spirit from that point forward. Not typical Methodist practice, as far as I know. The lack of enthusiastic support for this ministry in the form in which she felt it must take place resulted in her leaving our congregation. I felt that she had contributed much to raising awareness of the need for a stronger prayer life in the congregation, but that it was time for her to take her calling elsewhere, because we were just not called to follow her where she was going. I would be tempted to say that, perhaps, she or one of her team was who you met at the mall, but I know that she got her ideas about this ministry from established ministries of this type, so no reason to think it is uncommon.

Bottom line - I think this is a somewhat common form of evangelism that just happens to be outside of your (and most Methodist's) comfort zone. Personally, I raise up concerns/request for prayers in worship on Sunday morning for people I learn about during the week. If appropriate, I let them know that several hundred strangers are keeping them in their prayers. Such knowledge does a lot for me when I am in need of prayer, and I hope it does a lot for them when I share that with them.

Os.

5lilithcat
Jun 17, 2012, 10:43am Top

> 4

The fact that she asked first may simply reflect her sensitivity to people of other faiths that resent being included in one's spiritual practices

Though, of course, the OP wouldn't know that she was being prayed for, if the woman hadn't approached her.

Now, I have had friends ask if they may include me on the prayer lists at their churches, but a) they know I'm a heathen ;-)), and b) I think they are sensitive to the concern that, by doing so, they reveal my need (as they see it) for prayer.

Personally, I would be startled if a complete stranger* walked up to me and offered to pray for me, but when friends or others to whom my situation is known offer to do so, my response generally is, "Thank you! I can use all the help I can get." And it is helpful to my mental state to know that other people care about what is happening to me.

*I have had people who are not complete strangers, but whom I have encountered in medical settings (hospital staff, other patients), say they will pray for me. I thank them, too.

6fuzzi
Edited: Jun 17, 2012, 10:50am Top

(5) That is a thoughtful and kind response. To offer to pray for someone is not an insult at all, it is an offer based on caring. Thank you. :)

7LucasTrask
Jun 17, 2012, 12:47pm Top

I re-read the OP and I don't see any mention of what faith the young woman might be. So that has gotten me to thinking: does it matter what faith a person is who prays for you?

8johnthefireman
Jun 17, 2012, 12:59pm Top

I often use the phrase " you are in my thoughts and prayers", which seems to suit both religious and non-religious people, and really there is very little difference for me between thinking of someone and praying for them.

When my sister, who is completely non-religious, was told she was dying of cancer about ten years ago she was very conscious of all the family, friends and strangers around the world who were praying for her (if they were religious) or thinking about her and sending her "positive energy" (if they weren't). She took no offence at prayers and considered them to be similar to the other expressions of concern, all of which she welcomed. It gave her strength to know that so many people cared about her. She survived.

None of this refers to complete strangers coming up to you in the street, though. I suspect it would cause less consternation in societies and cultures where religion is not as polarised as it is in north America and parts of Europe. There might be no hidden agenda; it might just be a natural expression of concern.

9quartzite
Jun 17, 2012, 4:50pm Top

Hmm, I think my reaction would be a bit more negative than much here. I would be polite and thank her, but I think privately I would tend to suspect that her offer was more about her than about me, and akin to "praying on street corners" to project piousness rather than communicating with God. And I would find her claim that her prayers are efficacious lacking in the humility one would offer in prayer. I would also be thinking that I could find plenty of people to pray for with out accosting people in shopping malls, and why focus on praying regarding physical or health issues, when spiritual problems are probably a much greater need. After nitpicking her offer to death in my mind, I probably chastise myself for not thinking more charitably of her offer and then I'd let it go.

10AsYouKnow_Bob
Jun 17, 2012, 5:46pm Top

What John said at #8.

Me, I'm a pretty zealous non-believer - and a "I'll pray for you" from friends and relatives doesn't bother me at all: it's (...usually...) well-meant.

(My biggest problem with it is that "sorry, but I can't reciprocate".
"You'll be in my thoughts" is nice, but socially doesn't seem carry quite the same weight.)

But being accosted in public by strangers wanting to pray for me? I smile and thank them, but really now, that makes me want to throw Matthew 6:6 back at them.

11Osbaldistone
Jun 17, 2012, 6:28pm Top

I've always struggled with the idea of public prayer. We are told to go into our closet when no one will know and pray in private.

On the other hand, how would my children learn to pray if I don't teach them my doing so at least with the closet door open a crack?

It seems the religious community should pray together often enough to be sure the members learn about prayer and grow the habit of prayer. So, I accept public prayer as necessary in a community of believers, but not ideal for the individual trying to draw closer to God.

Os.

12fuzzi
Edited: Jun 17, 2012, 7:19pm Top

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. - Matthew 6:5-6


If praying in public is not allowed then many in the NT broke that rule including Jesus Christ. Since that is not possible, the context of Matt 6:6 must be examined more closely.

The verse about praying in a closet is about intent: are you praying in public to look righteous? If not, then don't worry about it.

13jburlinson
Jun 17, 2012, 9:11pm Top

I will pray for the young woman at the mall, but I won't tell a single soul about it.

14AsYouKnow_Bob
Jun 17, 2012, 9:25pm Top

If praying in public is not allowed then many in the NT broke that rule including Jesus Christ. Since that is not possible, the context of Matt 6:6 must be examined more closely.

So...then I guess the plain words of Matthew
(But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret...)
don't mean what they literally say?

15richardbsmith
Jun 17, 2012, 9:44pm Top

Is that the same guy in the same speech who tells us to cut off our hand, should it cause us to sin?

Another command is to be perfect?

16fuzzi
Jun 17, 2012, 10:39pm Top

Context is the key. Look at the verses surrounding the passage.

17eclecticdodo
Jun 18, 2012, 8:38am Top

A couple of years ago I went to a street fair and live music event. One of the groups there were Christians from a local church with a big sign saying they would pray with or for people if they wanted. They were also going around chatting to people as they sat watching the music. One came to me and after a bit of small talk explained what was going on. He was delighted to find I am already a Christian, and asked if he could pray with me. At the time I was 2 months pregnant and really struggling with morning sickness but not wanting to tell anyone about the pregnancy so early on. It was great to be able to share with him and pray together for an easing of the sickness, safe pregnancy, and the right attitude to it all. Until then I had only been able to pray with my husband and it was really special to be able to share with another Christian.

Now, in this case, I knew of the church they came from, that they are "theologically sound", and true brothers in Christ. Had I not known that I think I would have been a little more cautious and careful to be explicit about what I believe. Had they been some other religion I think I would feel uncomfortable about them praying for me, but you could use it as a gospel opportunity.

I understand the OP's uncomfortable feeling. It's a bit strange to be boasting about people being healed through your prayer (though that might not have been her intention). There are also a lot of dodgy beliefs around prayer - what we call the "health, wealth & prosperity gospel". I've had people offer to pray for me for healing from my various illnesses and some really won't listen when I explain I believe it's part of God's plan for me to have these struggles*, that I would love for them to pray for God to heal me IF it's His will, but more importantly to give me the grace to suffer well, the faith to turn to Him in my weakness, and mostly acceptance of his will for me even when it's not what I want. I've been told the reason I'm not healed is because I dont' really want it or believe it enough.

*primarily because every time I get well I drift away from Him, then God brings me to my knees and I return to rely on Him

18Osbaldistone
Jun 18, 2012, 2:33pm Top

>17 eclecticdodo: *primarily because every time I get well I drift away from Him, then God brings me to my knees and I return to rely on Him.
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn and make me new.
- John Donne (from Holy Sonnet XIV)
I turn to this sonnet by Donne whenever I feel that distance you refer to, and also for reassurance that something new is being prepared when I feel all is crumbling.

Os.

19jburlinson
Jun 18, 2012, 3:13pm Top

> 17. primarily because every time I get well I drift away from Him, then God brings me to my knees and I return to rely on Him

Your view of your relationship to God is makes me feel very uncomfortable. I get the image of a dog on a leash being yanked up short for getting too close to the shrubbery while on a walk with her/his master. Do you really think God deals with us in this way?

If I were the kind of God who felt that way about his creatures, I'd be offended if that's what they thought of me. Then, God knows what I'd do to them.

20eclecticdodo
Jun 18, 2012, 3:52pm Top

>19 jburlinson: "Your view of your relationship to God is makes me feel very uncomfortable. "

It makes me a little uncomfortable too. But it's a clear pattern we see in the story of Israel. Nehemiah 9 is a good summary of how Israel rebelled against God, was allowed to suffer, repented, and God forgave, only for them to do it all again, and again...

Health is a gift from God. When I am distant from Him sometimes He withholds that gift, for my own good.

Looked at another way: As I drift from Him I rely more and more on myself and my own strength. I try to do too much, physically and emotionally. The consequence of that for me is illness. When I become ill I have time to think things through, I also call out for His help. I draw closer to Him again, and so I restore balance, first spiritually, then physically and mentally. The amazing thing is, I've been through this quite a few times (will I ever learn?) and yet God still has patience!

Would I rather not suffer even if that meant staying distant from Him? Well, yes, if I'm honest. But (thank God) that's not my decision to make.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying all suffering is the consequence of sin or rebellion in a person's life. But in this instance, when there is such a clear cycle and God has given me peace with it, I believe it to be true.

Also, I'm not saying this is the ONLY reason these things have happened in my life. I know God has worked on others through my illnesses, and am convinced there are countless more ways I don't know about. The whole of human history is a web of interconnections, a bit like chaos theory but without the chaos.

212wonderY
Jun 18, 2012, 4:17pm Top

"a bit like chaos theory but without the chaos"

Like!

I too have found that I pay much better attention to prayer and soul improvement when I am afflicted. My life has also gone in great cycles. I try to bargain sometimes, promising that I will continue to grow in the good and fallow times, but it's a discipline that tries to teach us to embrace the pain of this life and offer it up.

God gives us the good and measures out the painful in a dose which is measured precisely to our individual needs. When we continue to repeat our mistakes, we can expect to suffer consequences.

It's just like any loving parent's wish for the ultimate good of the child.

22jburlinson
Jun 18, 2012, 4:25pm Top

> 21. God gives us the good and measures out the painful in a dose which is measured precisely to our individual needs.

It's a comforting thought, but it doesn't often match experience. Surely you've known, or heard of, people who've received more pain than they needed or that they could withstand.

232wonderY
Jun 18, 2012, 4:35pm Top

Yes, and we are falling down on OUR responsibility to act as God's hands to bear them up.

24Osbaldistone
Jun 18, 2012, 4:46pm Top

I'm not sure I consider this theologically sound, but it's a model of thought that helps me pay attention to what's important: I think of it as God has a destination in mind for me (maybe several before I leave this life). The closer my path (my actions and thoughts) is to the path to this destination, the less likely I am to feel I'm traveling in darkness, and the more things are likely to happen that encourage me on this path. It's not that God jerks the leash, it's that the trip gets pretty rough when you're driving out into the brush, but gets better when you find the cleared route.

So, I don't pay much attention (in the sense we're discussing here) to the occasional bad tooth, bout of the flu, mechanical breakdown, or stressed relationship. But when the frequency and severity of such things seem to be out-of-line with what is now over 50 years of experience of what is 'normal' for me, I take it as a sign that I might not have my head in the right place. Not a sign that God is whacking me with a stick, but that I'm not properly going about my Father's business, which is, after all, my path.

Os.

25fuzzi
Jun 18, 2012, 8:22pm Top

(17) your testimonies continue to be a blessing to me!

Praying with another Christian can be a joy, an encouragement. Also, Jesus said that whenever two or more were gathered in His name, He is in the midst! So, when two people pray together, the presence of the Lord is there, and often felt.

You also have correctly pointed out that we should pray according to God's will: we know that all that happens is for our good (Romans 8:28), so we should pray for the Lord to do that which is His will...it is what will benefit us the best, and will please Him.

26fuzzi
Jun 18, 2012, 8:24pm Top

(21) Yep, yep.

When all is going well, I tend to 'not need' the Lord. When things are bad, that's when I pray for help, and it draws me closer to my Lord and Saviour!

27fuzzi
Jun 18, 2012, 8:29pm Top

Os, God IS the destination for you, so the closer you get to Him, the more light you 'see'. Like Peter, walking on the water: we are told to come to Jesus, but when we start looking around and take our eyes off Him, we sink and cry for His help. Of course, all we have to do is cry to the Lord for help, and He will answer!

Woo!

28Osbaldistone
Edited: Jun 19, 2012, 3:06am Top

>27 fuzzi:
For the past few years, His answer has been (and it's a quiet voice, easily missed or ignored) that, yes, you are standing in darkness, staring into darkness, and I want you to move forward through this darkness. The realization that this is what is being asked of me was easily ignored for awhile, but has grown into something approaching clarity. Fuzzi, I appreciate your comment, but I do believe that, like the labyrinth, staying on the right path does not mean constantly increasing clarity, understanding, and 'light'. Sometimes we are asked to proceed where there is no light, with faith that it will become clear when necessary.

Ten years ago, what was expected of me seemed very clear. But it seems that I did that well enough, and now it's time for something new. However, I had gotten quite comfortable. Much of my posting on 5 or 6 Christianity threads of late are the product of me working this out and digging down for the courage to move towards whatever this new thing God has for me. Woo! is right.

So, talk about praying for strangers - go for it. I won't mind, I promise.

Os.

29johnthefireman
Edited: Jun 19, 2012, 5:58am Top

>28 Osbaldistone: I do believe that, like the labyrinth, staying on the right path does not mean constantly increasing clarity, understanding, and 'light'. Sometimes we are asked to proceed where there is no light, with faith that it will become clear when necessary

This is very apparent in the writings of the Christian mystics and the apophatic tradition.

30fuzzi
Jun 19, 2012, 7:57am Top

(28) Thanks for your reply, Os. While reading it, scripture came to mind:

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. - John 8:12

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. - 1 John 1:7


Though you may walk through darkness, keep your eyes on the Light so you stay focused on the Lord.

Regarding praying for strangers, I will, whether or not anyone likes it, but thanks anyway for your 'permission'... ;)

31johnthefireman
Jun 19, 2012, 8:26am Top

>29 johnthefireman: And, to be scriptural, when Jesus himself was in darkness: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34).

32fuzzi
Jun 19, 2012, 12:25pm Top

(31) john, I'm going to follow what Jesus taught, not what Jesus went through, for us.

I know that I could not handle all the sins of the world on my back and separation from God, as my Lord and Saviour did for me while on the cross.

Are you suggesting that Os try to do so? When the only person who could do that was God?

33johnthefireman
Edited: Jun 19, 2012, 12:39pm Top

>32 fuzzi: No, I'm affirming Os by pointing out that both scripture and tradition give precedent for what he is describing as part of his spiritual journey.

But you raise an interesting question about Jesus. Are we merely to follow his teaching, or are we supposed to follow his example and be Christ-like? I agree that we won't attain that latter goal, but I wouldn't dismiss it as readily as you do. "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23).

34Osbaldistone
Jun 19, 2012, 12:45pm Top

>32 fuzzi:, 31
I take John's offering as further evidence that Christ knows the human condition, even at its darkest. Plus, feeling alone does not mean one is alone. Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderut; bidden or unbidden, God is present.

Os.

352wonderY
Jun 19, 2012, 1:25pm Top

I've been reflecting on what Jesus taught versus his actions. For those he was in personal relationship, he told them they would need to share his suffering. He sent them out to teach and minister, to heal. He did not so instruct the general public. Instead, he removed sickness and sources of pain.

He did not attempt to reduce his own quota of pain, but used it for the good of all.

I'd conclude that growing to be more like him, we accept our pain as well as we can, and work to remove it from others.

Si?

36eclecticdodo
Jun 19, 2012, 2:13pm Top

>31 johnthefireman: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)

Reading this reminded me of the story of a friend who was working in a Christian-Muslim dialogue scheme. One of their debates this verse was raised by the Muslim group as proving that Jesus was not without sin (obviously they didn't believe the Bible, but knew the Christians did), since God is faithful, it would be sinful to accuse Him of being otherwise. They were astonished to hear Christians believe God DID forsake Jesus. I think it's important we recognise how earth shattering that concept is, and how totally different it is to God's relationship to us. God rejected Jesus because of our sin, and now welcomes us because of Jesus righteousness. No matter what we suffer, even to death, God doesn't turn His back on us.

37nathanielcampbell
Edited: Jun 19, 2012, 2:28pm Top

>36 eclecticdodo:: You do understand that Jesus is a major prophet in Islam and frequently appears in the Qur'an (e.g. Sura 2.87: "We gave Moses the Scripture and We sent messengers after him in succession. We gave Jesus, Son of Mary, clear signs and strengthened him with the holy spirit." and see the whole story of Jesus told in Sura 3.33-64), right?

So it's probably not that "they didn't believe in the Bible, but knew the Christians did" but rather that there are a few key areas where Muslims think that the Christians got Jesus absolutely wrong (the main one being the idea that Jesus could be the Lord; as Sura 3.79-80 states, "No person to whom God had given the Scripture, wisdom, and prophethood would ever say to people, 'Be my servants, not God's.' {He would say}, 'You should be devoted to God because you have taught the Scripture and studied it closely. He would never command you to take angels and prophets as lords. How could he command you to be disbelievers after you had devoted yourselves to God?")

38Osbaldistone
Jun 19, 2012, 2:45pm Top

39eclecticdodo
Jun 19, 2012, 3:16pm Top

>37 nathanielcampbell:

Sorry, I was typing with a very grumpy baby on my lap grabbing at the keyboard. "they didn't believe in the Bible, but knew the Christians did" was a vast oversimplification. What I meant was that the Muslim group didn't believe the Bible is uncorrupted truth, but know that this is a Christian belief, so used this logic in their argument. Muslim beliefs about Jesus are very complex and (from what I understand through speaking to Muslims) varied - it's a fascinating area, though of course I think they're mistaken.

40fuzzi
Jun 19, 2012, 8:39pm Top

(36) Amen, well said.

41fuzzi
Jun 19, 2012, 8:47pm Top

(33) We are to follow His example, but there are things that we are not able to do, not being God. We can only do the best we can, with His help.

However, are we to seek darkness when He told us to walk in the light? We might face darkness in the sense of troubles, but we should continue to walk in God's light, and not seek separation from God, what Jesus faced on the cross.

42johnthefireman
Jun 19, 2012, 11:38pm Top

>41 fuzzi: fuzzi, I don't think it's a question of "seeking" darkness. I think the reality, as attested by spiritual writers over many centuries (and Os!), is that periods of darkness are a normal part of the spiritual journey.

43ambrithill
Jun 20, 2012, 9:36am Top

I agree that the dark times are part of spiritual growth. To put it another way, while we would all like to live on the spiritual mountain top, growth comes in the valleys.

44Osbaldistone
Jun 20, 2012, 12:03pm Top

>41 fuzzi:, 42
The Psalms (especially those of David) are full of descriptions of being without God, as if God has turned away and left. We may strive to walk in the light, but, as with all that we are commanded to do, we sometimes fall short and find ourselves unable to see evidence of God's continuing presence.

Some will even go so far as to say that God has ceased to be present in any discernable way. That sometime in the historical period covered by the OT, He three up His hands and stepped away to leave us to our own devices. I find no hope in such a vision. Nor does it align with my personal experience, that of so many people I know, and that of so many wise folks over the centuries who have written of their encounters with God.

Os.

45fuzzi
Jun 20, 2012, 1:14pm Top

I do not mean to say that we will not ever be in darkness, as in trials or tribulations, but we are not to seek to walk in it. We should strive to walk in the light, not look for a path of darkness.

If I have misunderstood Os, then I apologize.

46Osbaldistone
Jun 20, 2012, 3:21pm Top

I don't think you and I have misunderstood each other. I just think some are talking in different ways about the inevitable dark periods where God is hard/impossible to see. As I said in post 44, some even think God has left the building, but that is a different view from anything I've read on this thread.

Os.

47fuzzi
Jun 20, 2012, 6:26pm Top

Even when we cannot sense God's presence, He has promised to never leave or forsake us.

We are in His hand, and nobody, nothing can snatch us out of God's hand.

48Osbaldistone
Jun 20, 2012, 7:54pm Top

>46 Osbaldistone:
Ahh, but I and many that I know who believe in God also suffer, at least on occasion, from doubt. At such times, reminders such as your post 47 are quite valuable. But, don't underestimate the power of doubt.

Os.

49jburlinson
Jun 20, 2012, 10:52pm Top

> 47. We are in His hand, and nobody, nothing can snatch us out of God's hand.

I thought we could snatch ourselves out of His hand by neglecting to profess belief in Jesus.

50fuzzi
Jun 21, 2012, 1:22pm Top

(49) I thought we could snatch ourselves out of His hand by neglecting to profess belief in Jesus.

But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

I and my Father are one. - John 10:26-30


God the Father, Who is greater than all, has believers in His hand, and NO MAN is able to pluck the believer out of God's hand.

Are you greater than God the Father? Can you pluck yourself out of His hand?

51jburlinson
Jun 21, 2012, 1:34pm Top

> 50.. NO MAN is able to pluck the believer out of God's hand.

Oh, I thought when you said earlier in # 47 that We are in His hand, and nobody, nothing can snatch us out of God's hand., that "we" meant more people than the handful of believers. My mistake.

What you're saying is that the "believer" is in His hand and no other person can take the believer out of God's hand. Right?

Other people are not in God's hand, then.

52ambrithill
Jun 22, 2012, 8:25am Top

>51 jburlinson: I believe in the context of the verse fuzzi quoted it is obvious that it is talking about believers. However, that being said, I also believe the whole world is blessed with God's grace to some degree.

53fuzzi
Jun 22, 2012, 12:29pm Top

It is God's grace that prevents a repeat of the flood of Noah's time, to again wipe out the wickedness here on earth.

The entire world is under God's control, but He protects His children, hence the scripture about believers being in His hand.

Capische?

54jburlinson
Jun 22, 2012, 1:01pm Top

53. Capische?

Yes, I believe so. It's just that I think God has very big hands.

55johnthefireman
Jun 23, 2012, 12:54am Top

>54 jburlinson: And we are all God's children, whether Christian or not.

What does capische mean, incidentally?

56jburlinson
Jun 23, 2012, 1:01am Top

> 55. I believe it's Italian for "understand." Usually, it's in the form of a question -- "capiche?", i.e. "do you understand?" Not sure about the spelling -- it could be "capische", but I think it's "capiche" or maybe "capisce". I've even seen it "kapish".

57ambrithill
Jun 23, 2012, 6:08am Top

> 55 If we are all God's children, then why does Scripture teach that we need to be adopted into the family of God?

58leonia
Aug 1, 2012, 2:50am Top

We are all created by God, but He saves the title of "My children" for His redeemed.

Group: Christianity

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