True prayer, in Jesus’ name, is about obedience and submission. It’s saying, “Your will be done.” It’s trusting Him when our will isn’t done – which can be the most difficult thing we ever do.
I have spent many years chasing magic. I have begged God to heal my mother. He healed her of cancer but allows the dementia to ravage her life. I was broken when God did no miracle to keep my brother alive 4 years ago.
How do I know I was seeking magic rather than running to my Father and asking for the good gifts He gives His children?
By my response when He didn’t give them.
I have given up my future career, my family, my life’s focus for the Gospel. Why aren’t You honoring that?
I read my Bible daily, God! I flee from sin! I seek the truth!
I did all the right things. I asked in Your name!
If prayer doesn’t even work, then why bother?
Friends, I am slowly learning that a life of faith and prayer are radically different from what I once believed. I cannot control God. I cannot manipulate Him.
I can only come to Him with my deepest hurts, my ugliest scars, my greatest fears, and ask Him to do something about them. And as I pray, I need to ask for the faith to trust Him to be for me. If I think I can ever have enough faith or pray the right way to get God to do whatever I want, then I am not worshiping the God of the Bible.
He cannot be controlled. He will not be manipulated. Such a lifestyle will only leave us frustrated that God doesn’t care enough to do everything we ask, and we will become prayerless.
We sit in this middle period between the Cross and the Coming. We see the Kingdom in glimpses and bursts, but not fully. God heals some bodies, but He allows others to become sick and die. He protects some people, but allows harm to come to some.
So we wait. We pray, “How long, O Lord?” with all the saints of history. We trust that His activity or apparent inactivity is not due to indifference. And we wait for every tear to be wiped away.
Do you see the subtle work of magic in your life?
In the life of the Church?
Will you repent with me?