“. . . your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
We often approach God in prayer like He’s a magic genie in a lamp. If we speak our request and rub Him right, we’ll soon have what we asked!
Unfortunately, the results often disappoint us. We earnestly go before the throne to tell God what we need from Him, and His silence leaves us doubting the power of this God who apparently has better things to do than answer.
Can you relate? Do you faithfully bring your requests before God in anticipation of His desire to help you? Do you find that He regularly answers you in tangible ways? Or have you found yourself frustrated and doubting whether prayer has any real power at all?
Dear one, our Creator God invites us to touch the realms of heaven with our needs and requests, and He delights in revealing Himself through His answers!
Scripture is full of promises regarding prayer, but many times we struggle due to our interpretation of them. One of those promises is found in Matthew 21:22:
Jesus said, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
We often interpret this verse to say that if we can just muster up enough faith, God will give us whatever we ask for. Then when we don’t see the answer we prayed for, we assume our faith must not have been strong enough. Yet Jesus taught that we only need faith as small as a mustard seed to move a mountain! (Matthew 17:20)
Jesus offers this teaching about prayer in John 16:24:
Jesus said, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
Here Scripture teaches that we will receive from God when we ask in the name of Jesus. Great! In answer to this, we decide that we will simply end all of our prayers with the words, “In Jesus name, Amen.” That should get God moving.
Dear one, seeing God answer our prayers isn’t the result of having the right formula or the right amount of faith. It comes from having a right heart.
Let’s review our opening verse for today. In Jesus’ model for prayer, before He ever asked God to meet a single need, He prayed, “. . . your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
My friend, prayer is not about making God bring about our will on this earth. Prayer is the conduit that releases God’s will upon the earth. Our prayers, when uttered in compliance with His perfect purpose, dispense the blessing and power of God into the lives of individuals.
Consider 1 John 5:14:
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
When we utter prayers that are aligned with His perfect will, Scripture promises that God hears us. Even more beautiful is the promise found in verse 15.
“And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
The key to unlocking the mystery of powerful prayer is to align ourselves with God’s will. Instead of insisting on telling God how He should answer our need, we must approach Him with a humble heart that’s willing to move where He leads.
Yes, God invites us to ask big things of Him. He loves when we offer specific needs and ask Him to reveal Himself by meeting them. But we must remember that God’s desire isn’t just to make us happy. He desires to provide His very best for us.
Let’s release the genie from the lamp and let God be God. Let’s give Him permission to answer our prayers in the way that He chooses, even if it might be different from what we think we need. As we approach Him in faith, believing that God is able to meet our need, can we also open our hearts to trust Him for His answer?
You needn’t fear His will for you.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Let’s boldly approach the throne to ask big things of God. But as we do, let’s leave our hearts open to receive His will for us instead. After all, it may just be better.