The hard truth about prayer is that rather than twist God's arm, as it were, to fulfill our desires, prayer actually involves His working in us to align our hearts with His purposes.
"This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us
(I John 5:14).
Our desires have a role in the blessed gift of supplication and intercession, but only as they correlate to the will of God. "Delight thyself also in the Lord" declared David, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (Psalm 37:4). First, a properly directed delight - in the Lord - and then the fulfillment of our wants - the desires of thine heart. The former must always precede the latter, and if prayers seem unanswered, we may well have reversed the vital and holy order of His supremacy and our service.
Tempted to the extent of bloody sweat in the garden of Gethsemane - 'If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me" - the Lord Jesus Christ overcame - "nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39). Our Savior felt the normal human aversion to sorrow, particularly, the cup that forebode of His Father's wrath. He prayed accordingly. However, the Christ who declared, "I do always those things that please Him" knew that true prayer begins with the will of the Father. Thus, He expressed His desire, but deferred to His Father's will should there be conflict between Divine and human intentions. No greater light regarding the intentions and practice of prayer exists in Scripture than this holy account of the holiest of prayers, unanswered.
Prayer, as led by the Word of God and the Spirit of God, turns us inside out. Our Father's will increasingly supplants the will of our flesh as the dominant influence of our lives when we rightly commune with Him. A hard truth indeed, but blessed to those who recognize the perfection of God's way, and the joy of "not as I wilt, but as Thou wilt"...
"I delight to do Thy will, o Lord, yea, Thy law is within my heart."
Weekly Memory Verse
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and of great mercy.