When did we begin to believe that God would give us everything WE want? It seems today, we all pray for things that the world tells us are good. We pray that God will protect us, and keep us out of harm. We pray that our loved ones won’t have to struggle; that they’ll stay healthy and safe. So many of our prayers are for others, which I think is good, but they’re also for what we view as what’s best for others. One of my favorite verses in the bible addresses this, and serves as an example to me when I pray.
“Oh God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. First, help me to never tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.” -Proverbs 30:7-9 (NLT)
I think too often we pray for the riches of life. I know that I for one have to remind myself constantly that life isn’t about what the world views as success, but rather what God views as success. Just like all mortal humans, I pray for the health of my family. I pray for the health of myself. I pray for things I want rather than things I need. I am flawed. Constantly remind yourself that what you want out of life isn’t what you think is best for you, but what God KNOWS is best for you. Sometimes it’ll seem harsh, sometimes cruel, sometimes it won’t make any sense at all. Trust God’s plan. Consult His wisdom. It will take you to a place you might not have thought you could go.
“Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.” -Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NLT)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8 (NLT)
When prayers start to turn towards our human instincts of what is good, or what we need, look at Ecclesiastes 11:5 and Proverbs 3:5-8 (for me, there’s a lot of help with this in Proverbs) and remember to let God decide what you need. We’ll all get there if we trust Him and the path He wants us to lead.