I was thinking about prayer a lot today. Tomorrow, Peyton turns 18, and I’ve prayed with her every morning before school (whether she wanted to or not). I’ve prayed for her when she’s hurting. I’ve prayed for her when she’s had victories. And now, my prayer changes ever so slightly as she ventures into the realm of ‘adulthood.’
Prayers in general tends to be a hot topic. We were talking about it a few weeks ago during Table 8’s weekly Bible study. The discussion of what constitutes a good prayer and how often we don’t take things to God for ourselves because it feels selfish or trivial was on the table.
I was thinking about that later that night. I don’t believe it’s wrong to pray for something that you want. Clearly in the Bible, there are passages that tell us that we are tell God what we want.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” –Philippians 4:6
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” –James 1:6
There are even great examples of people who prayed for things that they wanted. Paul asked the Lord to remove the thorn is his flesh three separate times and God denied the request. He told Paul that His grace was sufficient and to find strength in his weakness (2 Corinthians 12:8-9). Hannah prayed for a baby, and she was finally made pregnant with baby Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11). Jesus Himself prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for God to take the cup from Him before He was tortured and ultimately killed (Mark 14:36).
The important thing to remember when we are seeking God in prayer for things that we want, is to recognize and allow for the answer that God gives. The answer from God will be His will, not necessarily ours. While we may be thankful for the response that He gives us to a request for some things, we may not like the answer on others.
We must also understand that if God’s answer is the opposite of what we want or desire in an answer, we are not to take over and ‘make it happen.’ I’ve been guilty of this so many times in my life. I think I know the answer, God is clearly closing the door, and I still manufacture the outcome, because I’m pretty sure I know better than God…how ridiculous does that sound?!
I pray, dear friends, that as you seek the Lord this week that you share with Him what you want. Nothing is too trivial for God to hear. He desires for you to bring it to Him. Then wait for His answer and trust the outcome. His way is always the right way!