I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
[1 John 5:13-15]
A big misconception I keep running into about the Christian faith is that we can somehow get what we want from God when we pray.
If we live the right kind of life.
If we are kind to others.
If we volunteer enough.
If we serve in the church.
If we bring hot meals to the home bound.
If we are “good” people (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that one).
If we ask in the right way.
Etc, etc, etc…
And when people don’t get what they want they become disillusioned about God and the whole point of even trying to be a Christian. The problem isn’t that God is being a bully but that we are not understanding who God is and what our relationship looks like. We are not understanding our place in this creation and what God has called us to be. Despite what Joel Osteen says we can’t get what we want from God if we try really hard or have the right attitude.
It’s not about us or getting what we want when we want it, it’s about giving praise and glory to God.
Scripture repeatedly talks about praying according to God’s will. The problem is that sometimes our will doesn’t line up with God’s will. In that case we need to pray for understanding and patience. We need to have eyes of faith to see what God is up to. We need to understand that we are to draw others to God and we do that by living according to God’s will.
It might not be God’s will that you get that promotion or new job.
It might not be God’s will that your child get’s into that Ivy League school.
It might not be God’s will that healing comes.
But God’s will…whatever it is…WILL be awesome, because, well…it’s from our sovereign God.
So the next time you pray open your eyes of faith and watch God do His thing. And the more we do that the more we come in line with his will. And what a place to be.