I like to pray because in my mind, praying is simply conversing with God. Prayer is a dialogue between God & me, not just a monologue shopping list. From time to time, however, I sense God challenging me to make known my requests & not just stay in the listening mode. Over time, I’m learning to take very seriously what these requests can be for the simple reason that God answers our prayers.
Consider these weighty requests:
Patience – when we ask God to help us be more patient, often the resulting journey to that destination can be tumultuous
Trust – help me trust You more / better; the places in our lives that need this work can get very uncomfortable from the Holy Spirit answering this request
Love – I’ve asked God to help me love better & despite some hotspots, the results are worth the risks
It’s not bad to make weighty prayers, but let’s be prepared to make the changes such prayers require.
I’m doing some work in 2 Bible verses on which I’d like to get your feedback. Here are the verses where Jesus says:
John 16:23-24, “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. 24″Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.”
So here are some questions that I have & I’d be keen to hear your thoughts or feedback:
have you ever asked God for something & didn’t like the outcome of your request?
what do you think Jesus means when He says, “ask & you will receive so that your joy may be full.”?
what do you do with any disappointment you may experience from various requests to God that may not get answered in the way you wanted?
I know that I usually try to write encouraging things in my blog, but if you’d be inclined, I’d be super interested to hear your thoughts on these questions 🙂
Over the last month of so, I’ve been really purposeful about asking God for input on a very specific request. I’ve made intentional time & been very fervent about my request to God, but I’ve been rather frustrated thus far with what seems to be me to a lack of God’s input. I was sharing my frustration with some friends this morning & one of them had an interesting observation. After graciously listening to me express my frustrations, she simply said, “Maybe God’s answer isn’t for now. Maybe you’re not hearing an answer from God at this time because the answer is for a later time & not now.”
The thought that God has timing for the answers for our requests is a super helpful insight & has really encouraged my faith & trust in God. While we may want God’s answers now, God knows exactly when to answer our requests, as well as how 🙂
If you haven’t read the post below this one, i’d encourage you to read that one 1st – its short & sweet & will help you understand this post. Here’s my counter-point from what i said below – Jesus gives us what we need, when we need it; nothing less or late. There was a season in my life when i would’ve argued this point & there are times when i still find myself not so happy w His choices for me. Nevertheless, i still believe this is true: Jesus gives us what we need, when we need it.
Now here’s some of my thinking: there are times when we’ve asked Jesus to do something & He hasn’t done what we asked. In some ways, this relieves me because it gives me confidence in Him that He’s going to make decisions for me outside of my preferences. This is comforting to me because i think this is what all good parents do. If i gave my kids everything they wanted, they would have some serious struggles. Furthermore, i have confidence in God that He makes better decisions for my life, than i do (He’s got more wisdom, insight, understanding, etc). Now i’m not advocating that we dismiss prayer as futile. But i’d encourage you to view prayer from a conversation perspective moreso than a request perspective. While i think that the Bible encourages us to make our requests to be made known to God (Philip 4), be careful not to get pouty if you don’t get your way – i’m speaking mostly to myself here. 😉