The Problem With My Prayers
Have you ever wanted something so bad, that you’ve asked someone else to pray with you? Last week I had a couple come up to me and ask me to pray with them regarding his job. He hates what he’s doing currently and wants to do something else. There was something in my gut that felt like this was not the right prayer. I wrestled about it while I was praying for him, wanting to pray for what he hoped for, yet wanting to pray in alignment with Jesus.
Praying for what we want is a God given invitation! We are told to bring our requests, wants and desires to God with great expectation (phil 4:6), yet the outcome is not ours to control. “With great expectation” is not primarily about us getting what we want. We are praying with great expectation that God is on the move and working in all situations.
Every prayer we pray seems to be answered with a yes, no, or wait. Last week, as a 10000Minute community, we practiced confession by admitting and acknowledging where we have moved away from our alignment with God. I think that word “Alignment” is one of the best words to describe prayer in my book.
Prayer is NOT, getting God to align with our story.
Prayer IS, us wanting to align with God’s story.
Jesus made His requests known through prayer many times and mostly got what He asked His Father for with an astounding “Yes”. But one of His prayer requests, when He was really down and out, in His greatest felt need, to the point of sweating blood, was simply answered with a “No." As Jesus was about to take on the burden of the world on the cross, He asked His Father, “if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done” (matt 26:42).
Just imagine with me, what would have happened if God had answered Jesus’ prayer with a “Yes"?
When we are praying, how many of our expectations are to be relieved of pain or suffering? These are completely valid and beautiful requests, but our hope is not in God giving us what we want, our Hope IS GOD alone.
This week, let’s pray for others with this posture. Jesus, open our eyes to see who we can pray with and for this week. With great boldness, specificity, and expectation, pray for our hopes and desires for them with an open handed faith that God is on the move! Be aware of your motives in prayer this week. Is it for their good, or for the good of the Kingdom (which is ultimately good for everyone).
"If we truly love people, we will desire for them far more than it is within our power to give them, and this will lead us to prayer. Intercession is a way of loving others." Richard Foster's Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home
ASK JESUS TO SHOW YOU WHO TO PRAY FOR/WITH THIS WEEK. THEN DO IT!
Remember, we are encouraged to ask and intercede for things that we want for others, but really it is a conversation and pleading for realignment to the will and heart of God!