Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
If we are going to pray consistently, we have to settle the question of what we ought to pray for. Is it wrong to pray for things we want? Should we just pray, “Lord, Your will be done”? The model prayer Jesus gave us in Matthew 6 includes the priority of God’s purpose: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (v. 10). When we pray “Your kingdom come,” we are praying for Jesus’s future kingdom on earth. But we are also praying for the rule of Jesus in our lives right now. We are saying, “God, I am going to obey Your preceptive will–the precepts you have revealed in the Bible. I am going to quit fighting You and obey.”
You see, the Bible says you do not have to wait until you die to experience the benefits of being a Christian–you can experience them right now to the extent that you allow God to be your King and submit to His rule in your life.
For example, what part of heaven are you most looking forward to? You might say, “I want to be free from anxiety.” You do not have wait until you die to experience that. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). You can have that peace right now by submitting to God’s rule in your life. Or you might say, “I am looking forward to not worrying about money all the time.” You do not have to wait until you die to have contentment. Paul said, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11). Or you might say, “I want to being free from the results of sin.” Guess what? You do not have to wait until you die to be free from the power of sin. Paul said in Romans 6:12, “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts.” You can experience God’s power in your life right now by doing the things you already know are pleasing to Him.
But submitting to God’s rule also means submitting to His providential will–His plan that governs our lives. Let’s face it: most of the time, we can only see God’s will in the rearview mirror. We pray, “Lord, please restore this relationship,” or, “Lord, please heal my loved one,” but we do not know whether that is God’s will. So how do we pray in those situations?
Jesus gave us a model in the garden of Gethsemane. He prayed, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me.” Then He added, “Yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). That is what it means to acquiesce to God’s will: pray for what you want to be done, but then submit to God’s ultimate will, trusting He has your best interests at heart.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Power of Faith-Kneeling” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.