True prayer seeks to find what God wants us to do, not what we want God to do for us

True prayer seeks to find what God wants us to do, not what we want God to do for us

By Jesse Horton / Cowboys of the Cross

We continue this week with our discussion on how we hear from God through prayer. We’ve learned that the primary way we hear from God is through the study of his word. We can also hear from God and know his will through prayer, but prayer isn’t what we often make it out to be. It’s not about getting what I want from God; it’s about God getting what he wants from me. This week in our study of how we hear from God in prayer, we examine the phrase from the model prayer, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

If God alone is good (Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19 both say: “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. ; Luke 18:19 ) and therefore defines what a good life is, then a good life is not found in the success of my will but in the submission of all things to God’s will.

God alone defines what is good, true, wise, right, and loving, so our hope in life is never in getting our way. Hope in life is never in the realization of our own dreams. It is never found in gaining as much control as possible over the people and circumstances in our life. Hope is never found in my will being done. God has never not existed; his perspective goes beyond the origin of our past and beyond the future of our destiny, so he really does know what is best for all of his creation, including you and me. As such, true prayer is not getting the all-wise God to submit to your imperfect will but is an act of submitting your imperfect will to the all-wise God.

Unfortunately, we all slip from time to time into thinking we’re smarter than God. There are times for each of us when we believe that our plan and what we want is better for us than what God wants for us. We curl our lips at the “dish” God has lovingly and wisely placed in front of us and seek something we find more appetizing; but our idea of better will leave us empty, unfulfilled, unhealthy, and unable to receive the future good that God has in store for us.

So today, cry out for grace because the temptation to think you know better than God is still a powerful threat to your prayer life and your ability to hear from God; that puts us in the dangerous position of being our own hope – our own idol to which we pray, “My will be done.” Cry out to the Savior who submitted his own will to that of the Father to bring about the greater good for all mankind; He knows what it’s like to wrestle with wanting something different than the Father’s perfect will! Cry out to Jesus to save you from yourself. Pray for the sense to know that there is no safer, no better place to be than in submission to the will of your Father in heaven. Have the courage to pray, “Your kingdom come – let your kingdom’s reign begin in my life today. Your will be done – right here, right now, in my life – just like it is in heaven.” When we are joyfully willing to submit to God’s will for our lives, we know that his grace has entered our hearts.

Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV):

You keep him in perfect peace

whose mind is stayed on you,

because he trusts in you.

Trust in the LORD forever,

for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

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