I once heard someone say that you can tell a lot about a person’s relationship with God by how they pray.
We’re supposed to pray for the people who push us around, talk about us and make our lives a living hell.
‘…pray for those who persecute you.’ -Matthew 5:44
If scripture is right about who God is, then everything happens for a reason. Everything has a purpose because God is sovereign. It’s easy to recognize God in the chocolate cake and rainbow moments, but he’s also in the hollow nights and dark alleys of desperation. The bad in this world shows his submission to God by changing his hat from curse to blessing.
Do you know what sovereign means? It means ‘supreme ruler’ unaffected by anything other than his own concerns. His concerns are not your concerns. His concerns are you. A man is short sighted and emotional. His concerns change with the wind. God sees eternity and does not lose sight of direction or reason. You ask God for hope. If you understood who he was and what his sovereignty meant, you would know that God is your hope. Your only hope.
So how do you pray for change when you’re praying to a sovereign God?
Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand— Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature? Isn’t this all just common sense, as common as the sense of taste?-Job 12:7
How do you pray for the hearts of people to change when the story of your life is written already?
‘Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.’ -Psalm 139:16
When Job was in the presence of God, he learned about sovereignty…
Job answered God: “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one canupset your plans.” –Job 42:1
It was God’s plan to bring a Messiah out of a particular blood line. Along the line there were at least two women who could not conceive. God didn’t make Abraham pick a wife who could bare children, he showed his sovereignty by doing as he wishes in spite free will, in spite of genetics. It’s the same with Rebecca.
What God did in this case made it perfectly plain that his purpose is not a hit-or-miss thing dependent on what we do or don’t do, but a sure thing determined by his decision, flowing steadily from his initiative. –Romans 9:12
If you look at the way Jesus taught his disciples to pray in Matthew chapter 6, you will see that he knows that God’s say goes. If you want to set the world right, then pray that God reveals Himself. The reason for this is because he is the sun pouring through a darkly lit room.
‘Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are. Set the world right…’ -Matthew 6:9
He can ‘set the world right’ however he sees fit. The key is that he sees what we don’t. Our trust in him says we know we don’t see, so we give our will to him.
‘Do what’s best— as above, so below.’ -Matthew 6:10
….Keep us fed. Keep us in this frenzy of forward and backward, receiving and offering dance of forgiveness. Protect us from ourselves and the enemy….
The end of the prayer says it all.
You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! -Matthew 6:13
He’s in charge. You are not at the mercy of another human being. You’re not at the mercy of genetics. You are not at the mercy of your own limitations. We serve a God who can do anything he wants. Out of his sovereignty, he can take what was meant to destroy you and make it the thing that holds you up. When the storms come, you’ll be the one still standing.
Thank you for praying for Justin and his daughter. One step on a very long journey was taken….