“Remain in me.” That simple command reminds me that much in life attempts to draw me away. Often through prayer I am able to set all things aside and cling, to re-enter into connection with God and remain grounded there.
Scripture says those who remain in God, who stay connected—perhaps through prayer—bear fruit. It doesn’t say through this connection they gain a genie who grants every wish of our own will. It tells us the Holy Spirit inside them stirs to bring forth these things that cannot come of our own doing. In Galatians, the fruit of the Spirit is listed as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
I wonder if our call to prayer—even in dark circumstance, times that hurt, situations when the outcome won’t be what we wanted—is ultimately designed, not to bring us to place of avoidance of pain, but rather to provide for us in the pain? If prayer is the vessel that brings us to a place of experiencing a connection to the Spirit and producing those incredibly necessary pieces of fruit for our souls and for others.
Perhaps the reason our heavenly Father calls us to pray even when he already knows that the outcome will be other than what we ask is this: In His great love for us, God knows that when push comes to shove and we experience the brokenness of this fallen world in full force, we will need the presence of His Spirit and the comfort of Him ministering to us.
And God longs to provide those gifts even before we need them.
As we gather for prayer and lift up our requests, he already knows what will happen. But our sovereign God connects with us and works in us each what he already knows we’ll need in the coming days, weeks, months, years: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
In God’s ultimate grace and mercy, He calls us to prayer so we can lay down at His feet our deep pain, and begin to pick up His deep providence.