Faith Is Not always Easy!
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NLT)
Prayer and the Difference It Makes
Prayer has been a big part of my life for years. To me, prayer is raising my heart and mind to God. I have also learned it is more than asking God for something. To put it in simple terms, prayer is a means of communicating and sharing with God. In my private worship time, I normally use the following acrostic:
A-C-T-S Adoration, Confession, Thankfulness, Supplication
This method allows me to grow closer to the Lord, which is the ultimate objective of prayer. Over all these years I have learned that we must make time for prayer. Even if it means getting up earlier or giving up some of your leisure time — quiet time with the Lord is a necessity!
After my early morning prayer time, I also talk with Jesus throughout my day. He wants to know all of our worries and concerns. Talking with the Lord should be the main foundation of our prayer life. We can talk to Jesus like we would speak to any of our friends. Every morning, we should offer our day to the Lord and ask Him to help us see opportunities to witness for Him.
When you pray, are you truly lifting your heart to Almighty God or looking to “get what we want”? If we really trust in His will, we should be satisfied with whatever answer we receive. Our frustration arises when we think that we know better than God. We decide how our prayers should be answered and are not pleased when the Lord’s answer may differ from ours.
While Jesus does promise that we will receive an answer when we ask (“ For everyone who asks, receives.” Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” (Mt 7:8), He doesn’t promise that we will get what we ask for…Instead, He promises that we will get what we need. Jesus assures us of this when He states, “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”(Matthew 7:9-11 NLT)
Scripture gives us a very clear explanation for why we may not get what we request, “You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 4:3) We could save ourselves a lot of aggravation by accepting this advice and seeking to discern God’s will for our lives. In doing so, we would get a clearer idea of those “things” that God wants us to have. We should always end our prayer requests with, “if it is Your will.” If we truly mean what we say, we’ll have no problem accepting whatever God sends…even if it wasn’t what we asked for. The ultimate example of praying in this manner was given by Our Lord as He suffered in the garden prior to His arrest and crucifixion. His prayer shows us the art of praying in union with the will of the Father. “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will” (Mt 26:39).
Lord, help me to trust in your perfect will for my life. May I always be content with your answers to my prayers, even if I don’t understand them. Amen.