I love the times when God makes it clear the lessons He is trying to teach me, or the area I’m working on growing in. This week it is abundantly evident it is prayer. I am learning that God does answer prayers, it may not be the way we want it to happen. But it always turns out better. This past Sunday, ironically enough, my church started a new series on prayer.
Lately I have been struggling with the fact of the feeling like my prayers are just spinning in circles…I’m sure you know the feeling. While in Wisconsin I seemed to have a verse that frequented my quiet times. Mark 11:23-24, “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” I never could seem to wrap my mind fully around that concept, because bad things still happen in the world, and things do not always go as planned.
Last night I gained a new perspective of how God responds to prayer.
This week was my first week back in Charlotte and my fall softball team has a few weeks left of their spring season, so I was ready to hop right back in. Storms have been blowing through the area like madness the past few nights, and I was praying hard that they would hold off so we could play ball last night. I prayed and prayed all day long. 5:30 rolls around and no storms, but they cancelled the games anyway. Some of us decided to head to the ballpark anyway to play around for a while since it wasn’t storming. It rained a bit, but we played until dark.
My prayer was not answered in the way I expected or wanted it to be answered. But the funny thing is, God did hold off the storms and we got to play last night, just not how I had envisioned it.
Sometimes I think we tend to pray with tunnel vision. Praying with a specific expectation or result, opposed to being open to how God chooses to respond.
However, God comes through. He answers. Always.
I finally have a better insight to Mark 11:23-24. It’s not about praying so we get what we want. We pray to grow closer to God. It’s about believing that God CAN give us what we desire, IF it is according to His will and purpose. It is about believing that He knows the best outcome, and the best timing, and the best way. It’s not about doubting that we won’t get what we want, but not doubting that God will give us his best.
Check out a related posts: Learning to Trust