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Spider-Man and prayer

by | Dec 16, 2022 | Opinion

Have you seen the first Spider-Man with Toby McGuire?

I love that movie and I watched this one part the other day. After he gets his spidey powers he starts learning how to use them.

He’s climbing walls and jumping from building to building. At one point, he remembers how earlier, he shot webs from His wrist, but he didn’t know how he did it. So, he starts trying to figure it out. He extends his hands in different ways saying things like, “Go web.” “Up up and away web.” “Shazam!”

In that moment, he knows there is power there somewhere, but he just can’t seem to access it. 

Doesn’t prayer feel just like that, even for those who might not pray much at all? We’ve all been there on some level – we pray, and it seems like nothing happens.

At times, depending on what we’ve prayed for, it can be very hard, very discouraging. We have these passing thoughts believing there might be power in prayer, we just can’t seem to access it. 

Most people pray about all sorts of things like money, career, school, health, relationships, circumstances, decisions and more. But with prayer comes questions and even confusion. 

Running through our mind are things like: Am I doing it right? Why do I keep falling asleep? Does He answer only under certain conditions? And maybe we get to a place where we are convinced He can but we even more convinced, He won’t.

I think this is part of the reason a lot of us just resort to, “safe prayers.” Safe prayers are where we ask for Him to keep us (or others) safe, healthy and protected.

Ultimately, I think what we are really asking is to be kept safely in our comfort zones. If we said what really wanted, it might come out more as, “Lord, keep me in my comfort zone where I don’t deal with obstacles, deal with pain, where circumstances are as I want them and I can avoid those things I’d rather not face.”

Don’t get me wrong, safe prayers can be just fine, so hear me say that. Still, there will be more than a few times that they just won’t seem to do the trick. 

Ultimately, my guess is that you are pretty smart. So, I don’t have to spell out for you that prayers to avoid things we need to face isn’t the wisest course of action.

About a year ago, after praying safe prayers for about a decade, I decided to say a prayer that felt more dangerous. Rather than pray to avoid what I did not want to face, I prayed the Lord would guide me, even if I had to face these very things.

How did it work out? Well, I wish I had enough time to tell you the story. But, I’ll say this – what I once wanted to avoid turned out to be what I really needed to help me advance in life. 

What about you? What if you are like me and only saying safe prayers is a big part of the reason, we believe there is power in prayer but we can’t seem to access it?

Think about it, what have you been trying to safely avoid but your safe prayers just don’t seem to be doing the trick? I wonder if it’s time for you to add a dangerous prayer to some of your safe ones.

What if, rather than ask the Lord to help you avoid something you need to face, you pray that He will guide you as you face it? 

Now, if you do this, I have a warning. If you say this kind of prayer, at some point, whether it takes days, months or even years, He will answer.

When He does, He will point directly out of your safe, comfort zone. Thing is though, there is no one better to guide you through things you previously just wanted to avoid. When we are willing to say this kind of a prayer, it really is the beginning of a great story.

And that, my friend, is good news.

By Ray Miranda

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