I am going to share something personal with you today in the hope that maybe I can help someone who may be like me.
I am the type of person that gets hurt easily.
Hurtful words and actions don’t bounce off of me…they stick. I can forgive, but I don’t forget. The words “I didn’t mean it” don’t work with me because my thought is: you said it or did it, so in some way you must have meant it. This is something I have worked on throughout the years but it can still be a struggle, even when it comes to my prayer life. Since my word for 2014 is prayer, I thought I would share a little bit with you all on how I deal with this.
I am guilty of sometimes praying with the expectation that I will get my way. When I don’t get my way, I am hurt. Why would God not answer my prayer in the way I wanted it answered? Selfish, I know, but I am just being honest here. After many years I have finally come to the realization of what I was missing the whole time. I was never praying with an open spirit.
How does a person pray with an open spirit? Well, I can pray in a way that I am open to the answer God gives to my prayers. When I am confronted with a dilemma, I can pray for wisdom. I can pray for contentment. I can pray that my heart will be open to the answers, regardless of what the result may be. God already knows where my heart is and which direction I want to go. But I don’t know His heart and what direction He needs me to go. I can pray to be open to the answer He gives me.
My heart-ache when it comes to answered prayers has changed dramatically all because of the way I pray about it. I no longer feel personally defeated when I don’t get the answer I thought I wanted. When I pray for a situation, I no longer say “God, I want it to be this way…”. He already knows that anyway. Now I pray “God, please give me contentment with the decision You make about this...” or “God, please keep my spirit open to what Your will is in this situation...”.
He knows where I need to go.
He knows what is best for me.
He knows The Right Way.
His decisions are always best.
He wouldn’t put me in a place where I wasn’t meant to be.
He will always be with us, wherever He may lead us.
Obviously this may not be true for every type of prayer. I am still going to pray specifically for certain requests. But most decision-making prayers can be prayed in a way where we are open to what God has to offer. It takes so much stress off of our shoulders when we come to the realization that the decision is not ours to make anyway. Less stress, content heart…now that sounds like something I want for my life!
So I encourage you if you don’t already, make your prayers those of submission to God’s will instead of prayers of pretending that we know what is best. We don’t know what is best and we never will. But there is One that loves us enough to provide us with what we need...always.