Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. - James 5:13-14
I know in my heart there is tremendous power in prayer. I also know that even the most earnest and humble prayers are not answered and sometimes with little to no explanation as to why. This causes a struggle within me to where I often feel doubt.
It is not a doubt in the power of God, but more in the power of my own prayer - the ability that I have to impact the will of God - to change his mind. I find myself curious to know, "Do these words I am speaking and crying out to God matter?".
But then I think of Abraham interceding and praying to the LORD for Lot and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Here I see a God that is open to dialogue and influence when it comes to his plans and will.
I remember Isaac praying for his wife, Rebekah, to be able to have children, and the LORD granting that request and providing her with twins.
And, I am encouraged by the instruction of the apostle John, who reminds believers that we are to have confidence in our prayers to God, because when they align with His will then they will be answered.
I believe this is where I am able to find rest and peace in this struggle between doubt and prayer. In this space of believing that God wants to hear from me and wants to know the desires of my heart, but He also wants me to recognize that He alone is sovereign. He alone has a perfect will that brings about His plans for His purposes. My faith must be in this sovereignty and my prayers, petitions, and intercessions must be done in faith and with a hope that they are in alignment with these plans.
LORD, give me the faith of Abraham and Isaac when I pray to you. Holy Spirit guide my prayers, thoughts, concerns, and feelings so that they may be in alignment to your will. As I pray for others LORD, I ask that you would be glorified through the answer of those prayers. Jesus, help me to submit to your sovereignty - knowing that your ways are not my ways - believing that you have a plan that far exceeds my understanding. Jesus give me the faith to move mountains, Amen.
Questions to Consider:
- Do you ever doubt the prayers you pray? If so, why?
- As you look back over your life what prayers has God answered and how?
- Who can you pray for this week?
Make it a great day!