This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
How many times have we all prayed to God about this one thing on our hearts and really tried to wait patiently for His answer? We have asked as reverently as we know how, we have waited in faith and expectation, and we have hoped for it to be answered in the way we desired with all our hearts. We truly believed it was what was best for us or someone we cared about, but God did not, and our prayer was not answered as we had hoped. God had something more beneficial in mind.
Isn’t it the hardest thing in the world to pray with all sincerity and confidence, “Dear God, I trust in you and I ask that your will be done about this concern in my life.” In doing so, we are giving up our own control and are submitting our lives into His hands and trusting in His love and grace. This prayer honors God and demonstrates our full commitment and trust in Him.
I read a book recently called Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will. There was one part that really made me think about the way I pray. The author wrote: “Most of our prayers fall into one of 2 categories. Either we ask that everything WILL be fine, or we ask to KNOW that everything will be fine in the future. Our prayers boil down to this, “God, please don’t let anything unpleasant happen to anyone. Make everything in the world nice for everyone.”
Is this not so much like our prayers? It’s as if we want His assurance that we and everyone we love will live happily ever after. Gratefully, God knows our thoughts and understands our concerns and our love for those we care about. Yet, obsessing over the future is not how God wants us to live. He doesn’t want us to worry or be anxious but to simply trust that He will always be with us and will carry us through. We can’t know His will for our lives, but we can trust that He knows what is best for us. God wants us to surrender our will to His in love and faith. And if we do so, He will give us the strength and peace to accept whatever comes our way.
But sometimes as we surrender to His will, we may need to cry out as the father of a sick child did to Jesus: “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) Just like this father, we often believe in God, but we have trouble believing God and His promises for us. We want to with all our hearts, but our faith is weak. Sometimes His way is painful and so difficult to understand, and at other times, we find that God truly did know what was best for us and answered our prayer in a way that we could have never imagined. God can and will give us strength if we will only believe in His love and learn to TRUST Him unconditionally.
Gracious Lord, we are so grateful for the ease and confidence with which we can come before your throne with the concerns of our hearts. Give us the power of your spirit to believe and trust in your will – that we may truly know how much you love us. Amen