“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” –Matthew 6:7-15How many times in our lives do we plead with God about what exactly it is that we want? Health for a sick loved one, a spouse, a baby, a new job, removal from suffering; in challenging moments, we beg and beg for exactly what we want and all too often forget to say thy will be done. Indeed, learning to lean into His goodness and mercy teaches us the beautiful wisdom that He knows exactly what it is that we need before we ask, and He will give us exactly what it is that He wants us to have.
It is so easy in this life to forget where we are going; it’s so tempting to lean into the today moments of life, ultimately foregoing the reality of where we are being called to. Each of us is called to that eternal place with Him, and our lives are a journey on that guided path. Indeed, each of our lives point in one direction-we were each called into being by Love and were created for one simple purpose-to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this life and in the next. Thus, our mortality is a reality that we are required to embrace.
For the longest time, my prayer life consisted of requests: for myself, for my family, for my friends-everything I asked for overlooked the whole "God’s will" part and instead was rooted in what would make me most comfortable and free of pain. But then I realized that God wants us to turn to Him in prayer and to ask with a hopeful heart.
As He reminds us in Matthew (6:8), He already knows what we need, so the prayer is more for our own sake and not His.
- When we pray for a new job but aren’t getting a callback
- When we pray for a spouse but no relationship endures the test of time
- When we pray for pregnancy each month but the test is negative
- When a loved one is sick and the chemotherapy isn’t working
- When we want a new house but the contract falls through
What we want now pales in comparison to what He has in store for us if only we live with the goal in sight. He has called us to embrace our crosses and ask faithfully for His help. Prayer isn’t to change Him, but rather, it changes us. In trusting in His plans and asking with a faithful servant’s heart, He will give us the desires of our heart-whatever it is that we ultimately need to truly love Him, know Him, and serve Him, and nothing less.
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Betsey Sawyer is an attorney and adjunct professor in Mississippi, and works for Women of Grace as the Mission Advancement Coordinator. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Photo courtesy of Eliza Kennard Photography)