LifeLink Devotions (Click for Audio Blog)
Monday, February 7, 2022
Matthew 6:9-10 “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’”
A five-year-old boy was headed to McDonald’s for a Saturday lunch with his dad when they saw a car
accident up ahead. It was their family custom to pray for the people involved in accidents when they saw them, so the father asked his son to pray. From the back seat he heard these intense words – “Dear God, please don’t let those cars be blocking the entrance to McDonald’s.”
Lately I’ve become much more sensitive to selfish prayers. You know the type – prayers that tell God our
desired outcomes rather than ask God for His. Then, just to be safe and to seem spiritual, we add “In Jesus Name” to the end. We should have the courage to tell God up front that we are praying according to our own desires and not His.
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He gave them two foundational truths upon which all prayers should be built. First, God is to be revered as ruler of all things, and second, that His will is to be done on earth in the same capacity that it is done in heaven. There’s where the problem lies – in the second part of His instruction. You see, we would all probably agree that in heaven God reigns supreme and that He is revered. His will is done immediately and implicitly. What heavenly being, after seeing how God cast Satan and his followers out of His presence when they rebelled against His authority, would dare do anything but obey the commands of God?
Yet we have our problem letting God reign supreme in our lives on earth. Even in our most sincere
prayer times, when we fully surrender the outcomes of our circumstances and needs to the Father in heaven, we tend to act contrary to our prayers when we return to the reality of life. We begin to speculate on how God will work. We arrogantly presume to know which outcome He will choose. We manipulate circumstances and people to accomplish our desired outcomes. We begin to suffer from worry, anxiety, and fear. We have taken back the control that we had surrendered in prayer. We have prayed in vain for God’s solutions. What we should have prayed for is faith: faith to revere God as supreme ruler, and faith to trust God’s outcomes as good.
Until we have prayed for the faith necessary to trust God as Sovereign Ruler of our lives, our prayers for His will to be done will quickly dissipate into our desires. But when we have fully surrendered to God the Father and in faith believe that He is working all things out for good according to His purpose, we will experience peace. Every interruption, every inconvenience, every incident, and every incapacity will be viewed as God’s direction for our next step rather than an obstacle to our next desire. Every prayer we pray should begin with an affirmation of our faith in God’s sovereignty and our submission to His outcomes.
So watch how you pray. Then, watch how you live after you pray. Are they both compatible with faith that God is ruler of all, and with your humble surrender to His will?