Wishing, hoping, fixating, those were the emotions I was experiencing when faced with a serious decision. What if I submit? What if I deny? What will the future look like of I choose either? Is this Your will? What are Your plans? The questions went on and on but deep down, looking back, I didn’t really want the answer. My heart was set. My mind was fixed. My will was determined, yet I desired the ‘will of God’. I was reluctant to pray about the issue because I really didn’t want to hear no and if I did, I knew I couldn’t change God’s mind and that would greatly disappoint me. By grace and the help of a spiritual friend, I was encouraged to pray for His will. When the answer came back as no, I felt a peace I didn’t imagine would be present. All those nights up thinking was now gone to waste, all the justifying and forcing to see a silver lining was all done in vain. Yet, my heart was content because it was surrendered. In that moment I truly desired to know the will of God and He spoke.
An unsurrendered heart cannot truly pray for prayer is a work of the heart. The nature of prayer is that it operates like a mirror. It shows where our eyes truly are and most times it is not on God. The purpose of prayer is not to seduce God into fulfilling our desires by throwing your history of serving Him in His face but it is aligning ours to His. The model prayer states, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We sometimes want to do what we wish and then ask God to just work with it because we already made up our minds. That is the opposite of what God desires for us, He wants us to come to Him first then He will tell us what to do so our efforts won’t be wasted.
Our Will isn’t Important
Our will is not important, neither our desires. They are all together vanity!
Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 (KJV) 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
Romans 7:18 (KJV) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:
Precious one, anything of value, of substance comes from God. All good desires come from God.
1 John 2:17, KJV And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
That is why we allow him to lead, he almost arrogantly says in Jeremiah 29:11,
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
We are just gloves in which He places His hands. We were created for His purpose.
How many times have you desired a thing more than the will of God? Do you pray out of duty or because you genuinely want to follow God? Do you wait to get an answer or you feel satisfied to say, “At least I told Him before I did anything, He can stop me if He wishes.”
The Right Way to Pray
For me, I have often opted to not follow a particular pattern. What this means for me is that I just say it how I feel it. If I am straying, sinning or staying, I state exactly how I feel. I learned from early that God sees so much that He even sees the things in me I am unaware of. If I don’t want to yield,I tell Him, if I desire to sin, I tell Him. If I am wrestling with anything I tell Him. Why, because the only way I will get help is if I am open to Him. For example, when you visit a doctor, he diagnoses based on what you tell Him. On the contrary, God already has the diagnoses, we are the ones who are unaware of the specific sickness. Hear me out some more, all sins have a root issue. If I am rebellious to the word, it means I am struggling with idols, something else have my allegiance. But all we observe is our anger when we hear truth or our stubbornness to obey it. God, our doctor, very well knows our problem is really idolatry. Thus, the purpose of us saying is to understand what sickness we are troubled with so we are receptive to whatever treatment He prescribes. So, step 1, Be open, vulnerable, naked, uncovered. Let Him show you your ways, let Him search you.
Proverbs 28:13 New Living Translation (NLT)
13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper,
but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary
Prayer is communication with God. I am a bit unorthodox when it comes on to prayer, I believe when I am communicating with him one on one, I don’t have to actually say the words all the time. There are days when I can’t find the words to say, there are just so many things going on that my heart becomes overwhelmed. In those moments when my mouth fails me, my spirit and mind never. They connect with God and He sees just what I am saying and He comforts me.
If He doesn’t talk back, ever, we are not communicating. Too often we underestimate the fact that God wants to talk to us! He doesn’t need a mountain with clouds, fire and thunder to talk to His people anymore, but deep within your spirit, through His written or spoken word He shouts or whisper. I find that I often hear the voice of God when I actually listen for it, not that I can force God to speak either (there are times when He is intentionally silent). The key is to listen at all times, we don’t know when He will. Before, during and after prayer, you can take pauses to hear what He has to say.
Samuel, the oracle of God told Saul that obedience was better than sacrifice. This is the same God that struck a man dead for touching the ark of the covenant because it wasn’t his duty. This was also the same God who made sure that what was expected of the priest when sacrificing was outlined clearly so they wouldn’t drop dead in his presence so the consequences of the people’s sin would be transferred to the animals. If the very God that made all these laws rather you not do them but obey, I think we should consider it an honor to do just that. Uncovering our selves and then listening to God only to disregard what He wishes is an absolute waste of time- no wonder we just don’t start the process any at all.
Why should we obey God?
Romans 2:6-8 New Living Translation (NLT)
6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done. 7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. 8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.
Other than the obvious implications of disobedience, there is such peace, joy and contentment in obedience.
James 1:25 New Living Translation (NLT)
25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
Precious one, let us change our view of prayer and start delighting in it. It is our connection to the God who loves us and by the way has unlimited power! Take time to make prayer into a habit until it becomes your lifestyle. Our song this week is from Jessica King titled, “Keep Me In Your Will” until next time, remember to pray.