For the last few weeks, the word ‘Honduras’ brings out the tears in our 9 year old son. Oh, it breaks my heart because Todd and I have prayed and know our desire to do extended mission work in Honduras is God’s will for our family. Still waiting on the clear path, but our commitment to follow God has been made.
My mind starts wondering, ‘how do I comfort my child and turn this struggle for my child into a learning experience?’ Well, when I or my friends are struggling with a direction God is leading them we usually pray for God’s direction to be clear. That seems to settle the emotions of my adult friends; so, I give it a try.
I tell him that the Bible says that we should seek God’s will. Read 1 John 5:14-15 NIV
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15 NIV
We talked about how this is the time to pray to God. He was going to ask God to either show our family a different local only direction in mission or that God would change Andrew’s heart to be open to God’s desires for our family to travel in missions.
Then I heard some huffs and puffs with the words, ‘I am not moving.’ More tears followed. Oh my, that made him mad and even more upset! I was thinking, ‘What just happened?’ I was pretty proud of my parenting skills for a few minutes. With a few seconds of conversation, I humbly realized that he truly believed Matthew 7:7-8.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
Ask, Seek, Knock – Do you believe it? How often do we causally pray for God’s will, but expect God to answer our own wants? What would happen if we prayed and truly meant for God to change our hearts and our wants to be one with His? Choosing God’s will over our own is so hard when we want something passionately. It is agonizing to act as if it doesn’t matter to us. It does matter. Our emotions try to convince us there is no possible way we can give in. Though he is struggling with the idea of accepting God’s will over his own wants, I am humbled that at 9 years old Andrew realizes the power of prayer. When we reach the place where we are willing to do or accept God’s will instead of our own, we have reached the turning point in prayer.
Jesus lived that: “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” (John 6:38, NIV) It’s not about me, it’s not about you. It’s about God and his will.
I read this prayer this week and found it fitting –
Dear heavenly Father, I bring to You my petitions, but I give to You my heart. While I plead for You to answer my prayers, I also submit to Your will so that my heart may be strengthened and Your work be done. We pray not to obtain our will in heaven, but to effect God’s will on earth.
So pray, and be specific, but always end your prayers with a malleable heart, which believes that God knows best how to lead and direct his children.