Do You Trust Me? (More on Prayer)
NOTE: This adds to my September 19, 2019, blog, “A Definitive Guide to What You Can and Cannot Pray For.”
Recently Man in the Mirror hosted a relationship-building event at an elegant Florida coastal resort in October—the tail end of hurricane season! So we enlisted a faithful prayer team to ask for “great weather.”
Sure enough, no hurricane. But as the event approached, the chance of rain was 40% for each of our three days together. Oh no! I was flummoxed because four of our meals were scheduled on a huge, manicured lawn overlooking the ocean.
I started to doubt that it was “God’s will” to answer our prayers for great weather. I started thinking about all the much bigger problems in the world, of which there are many. Just as I was about to negotiate against myself and downgrade our original request, the Lord spoke to my heart and asked, “Do you trust me?”
None of the teaching on prayer works unless we trust God, specifically that He is good, great, has our best interests at heart, is able to answer, and is sovereignly in control.
Of course, that doesn’t mean every dream comes true, that we never get cancer, that our spouse doesn’t leave, or that we get never lose money on an investment. Some outcomes are part of the Fall and allowed inside the circle of God’s larger, inscrutable plan: “According to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).
For example, Jesus prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup (of suffering) be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). Jesus didn’t receive what He prayed, but He trusted His Father’s will.
The same held true for Paul when three times he prayed for his thorn in the flesh to be removed: “But (Jesus) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Whew! Can you and I respond like Jesus and Paul? Absolutely we can! Say it with me: “Yes, Lord, I do trust you.”
As it turned out, God gave us great weather for each of our four meals. The forecasts were iffy each time, but the actual weather was exactly what we had prayed for. And so, we praise Him for the good weather just as we would have praised Him for inclement weather. We trust Him.