There are a couple of really big things I’ve been praying for in my life. I mean like lifetime big. Last night while driving along I prayed for a really tiny thing, and then I found myself thinking and then half jokingly/half seriously saying to God, “but if you have to choose between answering this really tiny thing or my really big prayer request, please just completely ignore this one, even if it turns out to be the most opposite of being answered in every way….” But prayer doesn’t work that way, we can’t barter answered prayers with God.
God’s word promises us that if we pray for something in the name of Jesus, and that if it is in line with God’s will that it will be done. God’s will. Whether it is in the tiny things or the big things. Submitting to Him, even when His will is different than what we are praying for is what it means to be a Christian. It means trusting Him, that He IS good. That He IS loving, and letting Him be our Lord, the light leading us through life, no matter how our prayers are answered.
The great thing is also that His Holy Spirit inside of us will comfort us and sustain us when our prayers are unanswered and also transform us to be more in line with His will so that over time we pray more and more according to God’s will. That doesn’t mean that the sting of sorrow will not be felt when a prayer goes unanswered, but the Holy Spirit, as the seal of our covenant with God through Christ, does give us confident hope in Him, the orchestrator of the universe.
As the hymn goes “I have decided to follow Jesus/ No turning back / No turning back” and I’d like to say, No matter what / No matter what.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.