|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Monday, November 22 2010 00:00|
NOTE: I need a break from the 70 Things Every Man Needs to Know. ☺ I ran across something in my journal that struck me all over again that I can't wait to share with you!
God edits our prayers and answers the prayers we should have prayed.
Here's a 20-year-old entry from my journal....
Christmas 1990 - I recall how many years ago, after hearing a Bruce Wilkinson sermon, I prayed the prayer of Jabez, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain" (1 Chronicles 4:10).
But my motives were not pure; they were selfish. I implored God (the God I wanted) to bless me financially and to give me a peaceful, painless life. As my temporal kingdom came apart in the late 1980s I reasoned that it was not God's will to answer that prayer of mine.
I forgot about the prayer of Jabez--until Christmas, 1990, when my mind recalled how I had once prayed for "enlarged territory." As I fumbled through my Bible looking for that verse I was struck by the irony of it all.
I had asked God to enlarge my temporal territory. He did enlarge my territory--but in character not in circumstances. He answered the prayer I should have prayed.
He gave me character success, not circumstance success. He enlarged my territory in the sense of my conformity to the image of Christ. Still so far to go, but I am flooded with gratitude to Him for answering the prayer I never prayed. Thank you for not giving me the desire of my heart but, rather, for giving me the heart that desires only You. You have enlarged my territory; You have enlarged my character; You have enlarged my heart.
Thank you, Lord, for loving us so much that You didn't give us what we wanted. You work out everything in conformity with the purpose of Your will (Ephesians 1:11). I shudder when I picture how, apart from the brutality of Your grace, I would have ruined my life. Thank you for editing our prayers. Amen? Amen.
Yours for changed lives,
Patrick Morley, PhD