As we waited for our breakfast one morning, I said to Stan, “You ever get frustrated that God is slow in answering your prayers?”
“I did at one point in my life,” he replied, “but not any more.”
“That’s right,” Stan said. And then asked, “What’s up? You frustrated with God?”
“I am,” I replied. “I’m frustrated because I’m not seeing any answers to my prayers.”
“Not seeing any answers?” Stan said. “Maybe you’re looking in the wrong place.”
“Wrong place?” I responded. “How could I be looking in the wrong place?”
“For way too long,” Stan said, “my approach in praying was to tell God what I wanted, and then when I didn’t see any answers, I began to wonder about the point of praying if He wasn’t going to answer.”
“But you don’t feel that way any more?” I asked.
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “My prayer life really changed when I got to the point of realizing and accepting that I am to pray in accordance with God’s will, not my own.”
“His will, not yours?”
“Yeah,” he said. “It seems to me that God already knows what’s on my heart, so I don’t need to tell Him. But He does want me to know what’s on His heart, and I won’t find that out unless I ask Him to show me by praying in accordance with His will.”
“Oh,” I responded. “I suppose that allowing God to lead me in what I pray for might eliminate the frustration of thinking my prayers are unanswered.”
“Seems to me,” Stan replied with a smile, “that’s it’s more than a supposition about something that ‘might’ happen. I would put it in the category of a certainty! Not only will it eliminate that sort of frustration, it also allows a person to more freely pursue knowing God and His will.”
“Sounds about right,” I said. “And didn’t Jesus say something somewhere that eternal life is knowing Him and God the Father?”
“He did, my friend,” Stan replied. “And it seems to me that praying in accordance with God’s will, not my own, is a good way to get to know both of them!”
Bible verses to consider:
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33.
Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not my will, but thine be done. Luke 22:42. (See also, Matthew 26:39.)
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent. John 17:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for allowing me to come before you in prayer. Thank you, too, for knowing what is on my heart before I ever utter a word, and that you want me to know what is on your heart. I confess that too often my prayers are focused on me, not on you. Please forgive that foolish approach in my prayers. Please help me in following every step of your lead so the focus of my prayers is to discover, learn, and embrace what is on your heart so it (not me) becomes the focus of my life. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: What is the focus of your prayers? Do you spend time telling God about things He already knows, rather than seeking to know Him and what is on His heart? If you sense the need for change in how you approach God in prayer, with a focus on Him, not on you, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?