One of the main struggles we face when we pray is, as Proverbs 3:5 describes, “leaning not on our own understanding.” This is key to an effective prayer life. Our tendency is to try to figure things out ourselves and then, on the basis of that understanding, to take whatever steps we think we need to take. What we’re saying when we do this is “I am more able than God is to take care of this situation. I don’t need him!” There’s no way we can think we are better able to control our lives and at the same time really believe God is who he says he is. “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). Of course when things don’t work out, we often turn to him and “allow” or even beg him to intervene. When we fully acknowledge who God is, we should have no choice but to trust in him and surrender whatever situation we’re praying for into his sovereign hands!
People can disbelieve that God exists even in answered prayer. How many times have I seen the obvious hand of God in a particular situation, only to have the person involved chalk it up to good fortune or “blessed chance”? I want to scream out, “That was God! Give him the glory!”
Unfortunately, this refusal to acknowledge God’s hand working is not only true for those who don’t know the Lord in a personal way, but to those who serve and love him. Why is it so hard to see God’s hand in a situation? Maybe he provided a much-needed job, or spared you from an almost deadly car crash. This is “not believing God exists” in its simplest form. If we really believe God exists, we will see his hand working in our daily lives.
What joy and freedom this principle brings. It’s a relief to surrender my requests to a God who not only exists but who is, as the Bible states, “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
Holy Spirit, teach me to pay attention to the activity of God in my daily life! Help me to continually remember that nothing is too hard for my Father and that He is fully trustworthy to care for all of my needs and to be involved in all that I do. Give me a heart of gratefulness for His blessings and movement around, in and through me so that He alone receives the glory!
–Adapted from Ultimate Connection: Eight Principles that will Transform Your Prayer Life by Barbara Ho. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God as your mighty, protective, and loving Father. Thank him for adopting you as his own son or daughter and for making you heir to all the promises given in Scripture (Gal. 3:26-29). Confess those times you have forgotten who you are—a child of the Most High God. Commit yourself to remembering each day that you have been born into God’s family and have “clothed yourself with Christ” (3:27). Ask God to help you understand and appreciate your complete inheritance in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:18).
Pray that the fathers you know will be able to reflect the Father’s love, compassion, and wisdom to their children, so that the entire family will grow to trust and love God.
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