Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. – Colossians 4:2
Prayer is an interesting thing. A question that always comes to mind when thinking of it is: if God is all knowing and is fully aware of our hearts desires, why do we pray? If he is sovereign overall, and all that occurs is in-line with His sovereign will, then what effect do our prayers have?
I will not attempt to answer those questions but I will attempt to shed light on some things I’ve recently discovered. Over the last week or so, I felt like prayer had been more of a chore than something to delight in. Many of us that grew up in Christian homes/church may remember constantly being bombarded with this notation: pray, pray and pray some more. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it becomes nothing more than a religious act because we’re under the impression that “it’s just what Christians do”.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God
As a Christian, our first approach to our desires should be is prayer. Whether it be a health issue; relationship issue; finance; university or anything. If we desire something, the Bible urges us to bring these requests to God in many places. The question I want to ask is: when we pray, is it only our will that we have in mind or is it God’s will as well? I say this because often times, we open our mouth and bring our petitions to God without considering the will of God.
Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:15
Jesus himself, when praying, said to His Father, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”(Luke 22:42) Many times we have desires but it is so important that we remember to put God’s first. We often pray with hope and faith that God might answer and provide what we have requested; but not only should we trust he timing, we should also trust that because God is sovereign over all things, our lives are indeed in His hands. If he chooses not to grant you what you have asked for, it is because he has OTHER plans for you. Jesus prayed to God the Father for a change in fate; the fate of a painful and excruciating death; but God had another plan. It wasn’t necessarily a ‘better’ plan in the physical sense (considering what he went through); but spiritually, it was a plan that would change mankind forever. God, the Son, knew that the will of God the Father mattered a lot more than His comfort.
I encourage you to pray for any material desires you may have. It’s not a bad thing to want to live a comfortable life, but in the long run none of these material things matter. You are a child of God with a rightful inheritance to His kingdom.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 8: 28-30
So today I challenge you: the next time you indulge in communication with God, consider His will in hope that your desires will be aligned with it. Put the will of the Father over your comfort and pray for your hearts desires to be conformed to His! At the end of the day, all things work together for good a greater good. This ‘good’ that we look forward to is the hope that one day we might be fully conformed to the image of His son, justified and glorified.