Are you ever surprised at how prayers are answered?
Many years ago, I inherited a lounge suite from my grandmother. However, it was built for a sedate couple, not an energetic family of five children. In a very short period of time, it disintegrated until I was left with one chair with one broken leg. Due to my sentimental attachment, I replaced the leg with a couple of bricks, and used it as my place where I could read, pray and generally have time to myself.
As the repair was so temporary, there were several occasions when the chair would move and fall off the bricks. I spent a lot of time praying and fussing to God about the repairs that were needed on that chair and the rest of the suite. I wanted it to be restored to its original pristine condition.
One day after I had replaced it yet again back on the bricks, I stood in front of it and yelled at God (yes, God allows us to yell at Him), ‘I just want it to be safe to sit in!’ As I look back at that prayer, I now imagine God let out a sigh and said, ‘Finally, she gets it.’ Within minutes, God reminded me that the other chair was in the shed and I could use it to fix the one in the house. Which I did.
God had answered my prayer, not because I yelled at Him, although at the time I thought it was, but because I had finally asked for the right thing: a safe place to sit with Him, not flash furniture.
“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”
~ 1 John 5:14-15
Instead of telling Him what to do, I finally asked Him to give me a safe place to talk to Him.
Looking at my prayer life now, I find that I am still doing the same thing. Sadly, I’m have found that too often I’m telling Him that our situation will be fixed if He sends rain, if we can find a way to make money out of rocks (after that’s all that’s left on ground as a result of the drought), if I sell enough books to buy feed for the sheep, and the list goes on.
What should I be really praying for? God put me here in this wonderful land that He has blessed many times over for more than two hundred years. Yes, things are not as good as they used to be, but they are still better than other places in the world. My prayer should be that God be glorified only. As with the chair, once we pray as God wants, we release our minds and imaginations to hear the answers that God has already prepared for us.
Oh Lord, forgive us for all the times we try to tell You how to fix our situations. Help us to remember that the reason You placed us here on earth is to worship You, and that we should be praying that You will be glorified through all our circumstances.