Do you struggle to experience a fulfilling prayer life? Admittedly, I know sometimes I do. Lately, the anguish of urgency and impatient expectation is an excruciating, burdensome ritual. My head conflicts with my heart as I cry out for God to answer quickly, but the ongoing sound of silence births even more exasperated cries: Are my prayers bouncing off the ceiling? Is God really listening? A gentle prompting appeases my burden – compelling me to trust and wait, despite the contradictory, untrustworthy counsel of my natural senses.
Throughout Scripture, prophets, priests, and patriarchs remind us that God hears his people’s prayers. Jesus assures us likewise. John echoes Jesus’ assertion by defining our confidence when we approach God’s throne in prayer. John clarifies confidence as knowing God hears prayers that align with his will. He emphasizes his counsel by asserting, “We know . . . whatever we ask . . . we know . . . we have what we asked of him.” John’s counsel exudes trust. He doesn’t need to know all the details. He doesn’t allow his natural senses to avert or affirm God’s ever eternal truth. He surrenders the big picture details confidently before God’s throne by the power of the Holy Spirit living in him.
As Christ followers, we have much to learn from Scripture’s counsel. Our misplaced sense of entitlement to completely understand God’s tactic and timeline can hinder our prayer walk because we don’t see or understand the big picture. The big picture is God’s business. Our prayer mantle and posture are to align our requests with his Word and will. In the interim, between our request and our Father’s response, God influences our perspective, nurtures our relationship, and transforms our trust. Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the sound counsel of your Word. Give me the words and wisdom to align my prayers and petitions with your will. Increase my patience as I learn to trust you completely with all the details and surrender my prayers’ outcomes at your throne.
Throughout This Day: Seek to worship God and pray according to his will by praying through a psalm or other biblical passage.
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