Monday, January 25, 2010

Pray where your heart is

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:26-28

How do we know how to pray in God's will?  We know we are supposed to pray in God's will, but how can we do that if we don't know what He plans to do?

I have come to the place where I am comfortable to pray where my heart is, with confidence and with openness.

God wants us to come to Him honestly and share our heart.  So we can come to Him and pray for healing of physical or emotional brokenness, restoration of relationships, protection of ourselves and our friends, provision for our families.  Those are all good and worthy things to pray for.  These are all things God can do and desires to do for us.

But what if it is not in God's will to heal, to restore, to protect and provide in this circumstance?  This is where I can get stuck.  God, in His mercy, does not reveal our future to us.  Although I long to see my future, experience has shown me that I can not handle it.

Actually, that is not what matters.  What matters to God in prayer is where I am right now, that is what He wants me to pray for.  Even if what I desire is not God's will, as I perservere in prayer, God will change my desires and aline them with His.  As I prayed for things, I can see this progression, this journey. Day by day, as God and I walk together by reading His Word and my praying honestly to Him, He shows me His perfect will.  I need to be open to it.

And it needs to be a process.  Sometimes God wants to give us our heart's desire.  But sometimes, we need a while to accept the difficult parts of life: the wayward child, the abusive relationship, the inevitable death of family members.  He does not rush us through this, but works in prayer to comfort and encourge us as we grieve these losses.

So for now, just pray where your heart is and trust Him to take you step by step, where you need to go.

After all, that is what Jesus did...

"Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. Luke 22:42-43

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