Last night at WEAVE we started off talking about some of our difficulties with prayer–does God actually change things when we pray? If not, why do we do it?
That led us into a long conversation about predestination (the idea that God chooses who is saved long before we come into the picture, so we cannot earn or lose our salvation), God’s love and justice, whether justice and punishment are the same thing, and the nature of grace.
I know we’ve talked about all these things before, but it’s so interesting to continue the conversation! Of course, the greatest difficulty with this conversation is that we can never know for certain who is right…God is mysterious, and we see only a little bit, through a glass dimly.
So–continue the conversation here. What do you think? What does prayer do–either to God or to us? How does prayer help you, as the pray-er, or as the pray-ee?
What do you think about grace? Is it Irresistable (as the Reformed tradition teaches) or do you have to accept it in order for it to work in your life? What does being saved have to do with how you live now? What does how you live now have to do with being saved? (a subtly different, but different nonetheless, question!)
How do you deal with the mystery of God and the idea that we don’t have control over so many of these things we wish we did?
update: I came across this quote from Desmond Tutu’s book “No Future Without Forgiveness” this afternoon, and it reminded me of last night’s conversation. emphasis added is mine…
“God does not give up on anyone, for God loved us from all eternity, God loves us now and God will always love us, all of us good and bad, forever and ever. His love will not let us go, for God’s love for us, all of us, good and bad, is unchanging, is unchangeable. Someone has said there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, for God loves me perfectly already. And wonderfully, there is nothing I can do to make God love me less. God loves me as I am to help me become all that I have it in me to become, and when I realize the deep love God has for me, I will strive for love’s sake to do what pleases my Lover. Those who think this opens the door for moral laxity have obviously never been in love, for love is much more demanding than law. An exhausted mother, ready to drop dead into bed, will think nothing of sitting the whole night through by the bed of her sick child.”