After I ask God for something, I usually dream up all kinds of ways He could answer. I can come up with some grandiose scenarios. In my head I position people and resources around to work out a certain way, hoping that maybe God will take a cue from me and answer my prayer the way I imagined it.
How ridiculous is that?
But here’s the thing – He never, ever, ever remotely answers my prayers the way I dream them up. He’s so much cooler than that.
I can spend hours daydreaming up fabulous story lines that fit nicely with my already-made circumstances. I can wrap them all up in a nice neat “prayer answer package”. And the way I see it, all my imaginary scenarios would bring God glory.
Ah, but He knows the truth. If He even answered one of my prayers the way I imagined, I would be robbing Him of glory that solely belongs to Him.
But thanks be to God, His thoughts and ways are bigger than mine.
I think in the realm of the possible. God acts in the realm of the impossible.
And the impossible brings Him glory.
If I can dream it up anybody can. But if God dreams it up, nobody will.
Sometimes I take things a step further and go so far as to try to help God answer my prayers by stepping in and trying to manipulate the situation.
As if He needs my help!
But there are times when we might get a wee bit anxious waiting for God to answer and we think, maybe I should help things along.
Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (NIV)
The verse says we only need to knock and the door will be opened. We don’t have to push through, we just need to walk through.
Walk through the doors God opens to you, instead of pushing through the doors of your own making.
I can think of a couple of biblical figures who were good at pushing through doors that God hadn’t opened yet. Abraham and Sarah manipulated their situation and tried to steal the glory right out of God’s hands. It didn’t work too well for them though. They gave birth to not one but two boys whose ancestors are still feuding today. Read about their story in Genesis, chapters 18-21.
So I’m quitting! I’m not going to try to figure out how God will answer my prayers any more. I think I’d rather be surprised. His ways are better than my ways anyway.
His ways are better than my ways anyway.
There’s no need to rush God. I’m making every effort (which means I’m working on it) to resist getting involved in my prayer answers unless I see God opening a door for me to waltz my way through.
I’m learning to wait. Wait for His best.
Because He is able.
He is able to do immeasurably more than I can ever ask or imagine according to the power that is at work within me, because to Him (not me) belongs the glory in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. (emphasis mine) Ephesians 3:20-21
Have you ever tried to step in and help God answer a prayer? If so how did it work out? Leave a comment –