A new way to pray…

man-prayingA few weeks ago, Steph had the opportunity to go visit her sister in Nashville the weekend before we would spend a few days with her family on vacation in Pigeon Forge. Her job had taken a difficult turn and it was taking a huge toll on her. She needed a few days away from work and from the stress of everything that we have going on. She spent time in Nashville, got to visit her sister’s AMAZING church, Church at Station Hill and then on Wednesday, she met us in Pigeon Forge.

Before she left for Nashville, the situation at her job grew increasingly worse. My prayer for weeks had been “God fix this, God open another door, God help us.” I was praying for God to fix this in the way that I thought He would fix it. We’ve all done it. We pray for God’s will to be done but we want our desire to be His will. We want what we want, to be what God wants.

Really?

How many people have ever prayed for their lottery ticket to have the right numbers? How many people have prayed for that police officer not to turn around when they met him going 15 miles per hour over the limit? How many people have prayed for God to protect them in the difficult situations that we end up in because of bad choices that we make? I can say, I’ve done all of these.

At the end of our vacation, Steph encouraged me to listen to the podcast of the service that she attended at Station Hill. Knowing it was a guest speaker, I was reluctant at first but listened to it anyway. It was a message that changed the way I thought about prayer. It was a new way to pray.

Aaron, the singles minister there. brought a message that deeply moved me. It was about how God works all things for His good. He talked about how we  need to our desire to be what God has for us knowing that what He has for us is the best thing to bring about His glory.

Wait a minute, doesn’t scripture say  in Psalms 37:4″Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

What about Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

God will give you the desires of your heart, but the key is we have to put what He wants, first. After all, He created us. He wants the best for us.

Jeremiah 29:11″For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

For years, actually for decades, I prayed for God to draw my dad in. I wanted God to save my dad. I asked for God to give me the words that would touch him but I never got them. When my Uncle Gene moved close to my family, I prayed for God to use him to draw my dad in, but it never happened. How amazing was it to know that a complete stranger and not a family member, was the one to lead him to Christ? God answered my prayers, but in the way that brought Him the most glory, not how I asked for.

Now, we were facing a difficult time with Steph’s job. She couldn’t just up and quit because that would put a damper out the plans for the embryo adoption.

So hearing Aaron bring this message about wanting what God wants for us, was like a smack in the face. All this time, I had been praying for our situation, for Steph’s job, for our daily lives, in the way that I wanted God to make them. So right there, in the parking lot of the store that Stephane was in, my prayer changed.

“God give us your best. What you want is what I want. I am going to trust you, completely knowing that You only want the best for us that will bring You the most glory. What may appear to be the best to me may not be the best to bring about Your Glory”

After we returned from vacation, she went in to talk with her boss both of us not having a clue what would happen. God showed up. He answered our prayers in a way that we never saw coming and in a way more incredible that we could have ever imagined. If He has answered our prayer the way that we asked, our situation would be difficult to say the least.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that this was due to the change in our prayers. I gave up telling God how to fix the situation and just told Him that He could do what He wanted, to bring about the best for His Glory. I gave up trying to fix it myself and told Him that we would trust Him.

And He came through for us, just as He said He would!

Dear God,

For most of my  life, I have prayed for things that I wanted. Sure I asked these in Your Name but they were my desires not necessarily Yours. Help me to seek Your desire for our lives. Help me to trust You without fail or doubt. Make my desire, to be to desire what You want to bring about the best for Your Glory. I will trust You and leave the results up to You. Thank You for showing me a new way (for me) to pray!

Keith