Years ago, a woman learned that her husband was having an affair with another woman. One evening she walked onto the deck where her husband had been standing for a long time. She asked him what he was doing. He replied, “Praying. I’m asking God to tell me what to do.” Her response was, “He’s not answering you, is He?”
“No,” he replied.
“He’s not answering you because He’s already told you what to do. You’re not listening to Him. You know the Bible. You know He said you should not commit adultery. You know He wants you to confess and repent and stop sinning. He’s not going to change His answer.”
Sadly, the husband did not listen to God’s Word and the woman became a single mom to two little girls.
Of course, her prayers at the beginning of this dark time in her life were that her husband would choose God, her, and their daughters. She asked God for a restored marriage. But when the answer was no, she changed her prayers. She asked God to provide for their needs, to give her strength to raise her girls to know and love Him, to have a strong faith, and for wisdom to know how to help them deal with the rejection of their dad.
In our world, prayer has turned into asking God to grant our wishes – and not just three wishes. We ignore the truths that He has given us in His Word and ask Him to change His mind, because this is what we want. We want Him to realize that we know what is best for ourselves and He should defer to us.
But God is still God.
When we understand more about God, when we know Him, as David Platt says, “the primary point of prayer is not to get something—it’s to know Someone. When you go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret, there is a reward awaiting you: intimacy with your heavenly Father through prayer. The heart of prayer is what happens when you’re alone with the Father.”
I challenge you to examine your prayers this week. Are you asking God to do what you want? Or are you asking God to do in your life what He has already promised to do? Let’s practice praying according to His will.
“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.”
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