“Please pray for so-and-so to be healed.”
“Will you pray that X gets this job?”
“Would you lift up N to be able to have a baby?”
I’m sure that you, too, are often petitioned by others to bring certain prayers to the Great Petitioner.
While most of the time, I nod and respond affirmatively that I will pray fervently for the desire of the supplicant, every now and then my heart rebels against the request.
I sometimes find myself thinking that I know the answers and can project the outcomes of prayers. I think that so-and-so is in a lot of pain and may be ready to finally meet Jesus face to face. Or, I don’t really like the company X is applying to and so don’t imagine it’s a good fit. Or, I find out N is using IVF to try to conceive, against the Church’s teachings.
Reluctance fills me as I try to offer up half-hearted prayers to my King.
I’ve come to realize that this is pride and me attempting to play God. I assume by praying for something I don’t believe in, I may be thwarting God’s Will. But I realize that just because I THINK I can see that something is not right, does NOT mean that God can’t use it for His greater Glory and show people His Power.
By always ending every intention with “but not my will but Yours be done” I realize my human helplessness to know the ultimate outcome and submit my (and others’) will to His. Sometimes I believe God lets us have our way just as parents sometimes cave into a child’s incessant begging. But because He is Almighty and All-Powerful, He can permit a situation that may not seem to be what He originally intended to bring about a great manifestation of His Glory.
Lent is a great time to consider how we pray.
So next time I’m asked to pray for something that I don’t believe in with all my heart, I will simply turn my gaze to the Cross and remember the greatest good came from the greatest wrong.
O happy fault that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer.