Friday, June 6, 2014

According to His Will

     Following choir rehearsal the other night, I was asked to close in a word of prayer and lift up the requests voiced that evening.  It is always a blessing and a privilege to come before our Lord and lift up the needs of others because we know that He hears us.  How do we know that?  The Bible tells us so in James 5:16 says:  "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."  When we share our prayer concerns, confess our sins one to another and our need for healing,  God will hear us if we come with a humble heart before His throne.  There is one caveat in all this.  The Lord answers according to His sovereign will for us.
     Because Jesus Christ died for our sins and imputed to us His righteousness, we are now able to come before God the Father and make our requests known to Him.  In my prayer closet, I hold nothing back when I pray.  I tell the Lord exactly how I feel and what I would like to see happen in certain situations.  After all, God tells us to "pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5:16).  Jesus also told us that we are to come to Him when we are weary and He will give us rest (Matthew 11:28).  This is what prayer does for a heavy heart.  We can lay our burdens at the feet of God in prayer.  However, we have to keep in mind that we may ask the Lord to do things a certain way, and His answer may not be what we expected.  Nevertheless, because He loves us, He hears us and considers what is the best for us and all involved.  This is where trust comes in.  God knows our frame, our weakness, and the old sin nature that we still struggle with.  His ways are not our ways.  So when we pray, and God answers in a different manner, we need to know that He sees the bigger picture.  We also need to remember that He loves us.  Giving His Son as a ransom for us has proven that beyond all doubt.  
     When our grandson Branson was alive, my husband and I prayed daily for his seizures to stop.  His parents were doing all the right things to help him, but still his seizures persisted.  God did answer our prayer, yet not in the way we had expected.  The Lord saw fit to take Branson home to heaven.  Now he has no more seizures or limitations such as he experienced here.  I will not lie.  It was a shock.  Did we somehow lack faith that God could heal him?  Had we somehow not prayed in the right manner?  No, I do not believe that for a moment.  While we do not know why his life had to be so short, we know that we can trust God even in something like this.
     What our family has learned through this experience is that God loves us and comforts us.  He is sovereign and works all things together for good.  He has our back in all situations whether we feel like it or not.  Emotions come and go but God and His Word can be trusted.  We have learned that some mysteries of life are not for us to know  here and now.  God is our Father and He will always do for us what is necessary to conform us to His Son.  
     One thing which we always must remember about prayer is that God is not our butler ready to give us whatever our hearts desire.  We cannot name it and claim it as some teach and believe.  Rather, the Lord is looking for a humble heart ready to obey His commands and bow to His will for our lives.  James 4:3 says:  "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."  Heart motives make all the difference when we come before the Lord.  Remember our purpose here on earth is to glorify God and enjoy HIM forever...not glorify us and get what we want when we want it.  
     As we pray, let us remember that God knows what we need before we do.  He will answer us at just the right time according to His will for us.  Therefore, let us commune with Him daily laying our burdens down.  He will not fail us nor forsake us.  Soli Deo Gloria!

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