Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"The Wrong Prayers"

    Consider the title of today's consideration to be facetious.  "The wrong prayers" we reference are actually the right prayers.  However, as God implements His answers, the challenge of understanding His perfectly wise ways may confuse and even bewilder us to the extent that we wonder about requests offered in the past.

    Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant often asked recruits about their goal in playing football at the University of Alabama.  One young man responded, "Because, Coach, I want to be the best possible player I can be."  Coach Bryant smiled.  "I'm glad to hear that, son" said Bryant.  "And I'm sure you do.  However, you're not going to want to do the things you have to do for that to happen."   Bryant paused for a moment to let the puzzling thought sink in to the recruit's mind.  The coach then concluded.  "But don't worry, son.  I will want you to do those things - and I'll make sure you do them!"

    As we more and more discover the life to which God calls those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we ask Him to work in us fulfill His great and good purposes for our lives.  "Lord, work in me to glorify Your name… Enable me to do Your will… Conform me to the image of the Lord Jesus… Make me a light and blessing of Christ to others."  Such requests align our hearts with our Heavenly Father's intentions for us.  Again, they are the right prayers.  However, the Lord's working to answer such requests will require both the pleasant and the painful, the understandable and the perplexing, the easily accepted and assimilated, but also the uncomfortably challenging.  We may therefore at times wonder, with great consternation, "Lord, what is going on????"  If our Heavenly Father answered audibly, we might well hear the simple response, "I am answering your prayers, My child."

    Of course, we may be tempted to respond, "Uh, could I perhaps rescind those requests?"  Our Father proceeds nevertheless because we likely prayed the right prayers in times of our most clear-headed and love-motivated devotion.  Indeed, challenging events today often result from altars of the heart built long ago that still stand within despite the temptations to doubt elicited by perplexing difficulties.  "Why did I pray that?"  We may sometimes wonder as we consider the means by which God answers the right prayers that may seem far more like the wrong prayers.

    Our Lord presently works to fulfill countless requests by His children that long ago passed from our memory of having offered them.  Let us thank Him that He does, particularly regarding those prayers of devotion that may lead to perplexities of difficulty.  "His way is perfect" declared David long ago, including His response to our requests (II Samuel 22:31).  Times will come when we will be tempted to wish we had prayed differently.  Thankfully, our Father abides faithfully, answering the wrong prayers that were and are actually the right prayers.

"This is the confidence that we have of Him, that If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.  And if we know that that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."
(I John 5:14-15)

Weekly Memory Verse
   The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace."
(Psalm 29:11)

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