God doesn’t expect us to be perfect pray-ers. He does not expect us to know what is best in every situation and to always pray in that vein. He understands our limitations. He accepts our prayers, even if they are off target, because He accepts us as His dear children.
We can be sure that God, even if He doesn’t give what we ask, will provide the grace to deal with what He allows in our lives and in the lives of those we pray for. Paul learned that when he prayed for the removal of a thorn in the flesh. God didn’t remove the thorn as Paul asked, but God didn’t say no either. He simply said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). The same thing may be true when we pray for others. God may not actually say no. He just says, “My grace is sufficient. I will give them the strength to deal with that situation.” And the truth is, God’s all-sufficient grace is the best answer, even better than the relief that we may be asking for. If we keep that in mind, we will always be able to joyfully accept God’s answer even if it isn’t what we asked. We will see in His answers that “his power is made perfect in weakness.”
Thank You, Father, that my prayers don’t have to be perfect in order for You to hear and respond to them! I am so grateful to be Your child, and that You care deeply about all of Your creation! Teach me to hear Your voice as You show me how to receive Your grace in every situation and season of my life. Show me how my weakness can be perfected in Your strength! May I continually be obedient to Your commands, living out the life of Jesus. Teach me to pray as Jesus prayed so that my heart will be directed more and more into perfect alignment with the purposes of the kingdom.
–Adapted from Praying God’s Heart (Prayers that Make a Difference) by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Give praise to God as the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of knowledge (Isa. 11:2). Thank God for freely giving wisdom to all who ask and who trust him to answer (Jas. 1:5). Confess those times in the past week or month when you have relied on human wisdom rather than seeking God’s wisdom. Commit yourself to seeking God’s wisdom at all costs (Prov. 2:1-6). Ask God to show you how his wisdom is different from the world’s (Jas. 3:13-18).
Pray that your church’s leaders will be filled with wisdom as they make both public and private decisions, so that their whole lives will glorify God.
“Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue.” —Adam Clarke
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