I’m not going to make many friends with this post, but herein lies my inner struggle with finding balance between grace and truth. Countless times Christians request prayer from fellow believers, mostly when we’re in need. In need of solace, healing, financial provision, or any situation that calls our desires to receive a particular answer in our petitions. When the prayer request comes my way, very rarely do I pray for that person’s desired outcome.
You see, my hesitance to pray how and when asked isn’t due to my indignant attitude toward them or their plight, but it’s because when I go to God in prayer, I’m humbly cognizant of the might and majesty He encompasses. That is not to say that He doesn’t hear our prayers when asking for the deal to close on the house of our dreams, or the notice that we land the job we’ve been hunting for, or the healing by bringing health to the bodies of our loved ones or our own; however, all of our desires can be met when we truly seek Him, deeply depend on Him, and grasp the truth that whatever His will is for each instance, and its outcome, is fitting, just, and we ought to be bursting with trust in all His ways. This…is…difficult.
This is the reason why when asked for prayer by others, it is this overwhelming realization of His sovereignty that I pray for in place of the requested wishes. Generally, I don’t share this with those in need of prayer because when we’re desperately engulfed by emotions of fear of the always unknown future, my automated switch to prayers for that person’s peace in Him wouldn’t be met so well. It’d relay to them that I know better what they need than they do and, honestly, I do. I do because we all need to be reminded of the prerequisite peace that can only be had by seeking Him. All else falls in behind this and when we’re graced with this heartfelt knowledge, dealing with, and trudging through, whatever ails us can suddenly become smaller in our realization of how much bigger He is than whatever trial is brought before us.
Whether that trial is death at our front door, we need to remember Him who welcomes us at the other side. If that trial is less significant, such as our wishes for placement within this world, be it location in the workplace, amongst a fellowship of other believers in a church building, or living quarters that we have our sights on, these all are under His providential purposes in however they pan out. Perhaps our prayer lists are crammed with hopes for transformed hearts for loved ones that we witness wavering between what the world has to offer and the Jesus who offers us the world; these prayers are also met with the rest in He who elects His chosen children and will draw each soul that He bought with His blood to Him, regardless of our worry or works.
Don’t hesitate to ask me for prayer when you’re diagnosed with cancer, your baby is ill, your family is falling apart, or you yourself are drowning in despair; however, be aware that my prayers will be directed straight at the condition of your heart, your mind, and your soul. My pleas to God will be for Him to take hold of your entire being, give you the peace He can provide as you walk through your secondary trial and come out the other side of it knowing that the primary trial is learning to trust His will for your life and those in it, to accept His divine decisions, and to love Him more deeply no matter how He answers your petitions. If ever I ask for prayer in any regard, I plead with you to do the same in return.
“He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (Psalm 112:7).