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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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The one prayer that God will always answer

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As we grow in prayer, we find ourselves asking only for the will of God, not a stamp of approval on our plans.
As we grow in prayer, we find ourselves asking only for the will of God, not a stamp of approval on our plans.

I have listened to many types of prayers across my increasingly white-haired days. Last night our community viewed a movie which touched on the subject of prayer.

People gathered together to pray for a particular outcome for one of their number. That most certainly has merit and God would always have us bring our concerns to him.

That is the way of true friendship; we let another in on our pain and our neediness.

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It is the way of true parenting. How dreadful for any parent to discover that their child had a need and they did not come to them?

For many people that is the limit to their prayer and that is fine. We have determined quite rightly that God is there to ensure our wellbeing and that of those we love. Yet there is far more if only we will go there.

We pray not to ensure that we will have all we need, or that life will forever go our way. Rather we pray to know God, and what he wants. We pray in order to have the grace to deal with life as he would have us deal with it. We pray to hand our lives over to his all loving will.

Some of us find that hard. We think that God’s will is always demanding, will always cause us pain, always be the exact opposite of what we want. How wide of the mark we are!

If I were to ask anyone of you who are blessed to have children, ‘What is your will for your child?’ wouldn’t you tell me that your will is that your child be happy, that they be surrounded by loving family and friends, that long after you are gone, they be well provided for, that they live good and upright lives and that even if that does not happen, your will would be that people come into their lives to show them the right way….and far more?

If that is your will for your child, why would that not be God’s will for you?

We pray, and as we pray, an automatic by-product grows within us. We come to know the will of God and sooner or later we stop asking for all we think we need, we stop asking for God’s imprimatur on our very worthy plans, we find ourselves asking only for the will of God.

There was once a famous baseball player, whose name has long escaped me.

It was his custom to pray before he went onto the field. You would expect him to pray for success, after all, his livelihood depended on each game but that was not his prayer.

Rather he repeated over and over again, ‘Your will, nothing more nothing less.’

It didn’t matter whether he won or lost, his peace was undisturbed because he had asked for the will of God and therefore whatever happened in the end would be good.

It would reap a harvest of its own in his life and in the lives of those who watched the game.

St Thomas More when he was in the Tower of London awaiting he knew not what, was allowed a visit from his daughter Meg.

Her task was to dissuade him from his stance against what he saw to be wrong.

Meg pointed out all that his family was suffering and he himself into the bargain. She even put to him that no decent God would leave him in his present condition. Thomas’s reply is telling.

“…therefore, my own dear daughter do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world. Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.”

Perhaps you might be asking about the will of God when it comes to violence at home and abroad and the one hundred and ten armed conflicts around the world.

Where is the will of God? How can it be best? We will find out, when you and I pray each day, over and over, “Your will, nothing more, nothing less.”

If your life is hard, this is the prayer to pray. Ask for his will and you will free up his will in you and in the heart of someone else.

You will find answers and a healing balm you did not know existed. Life will be different.

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