The subject of my blog this week sounds a little like it belongs in my other blog, thinkinginthespirit.blogspot.com/ rather than watchininprayer. But in fact, this deals with the attitude that must drive our prayers. Is your life, are your prayers, driven by faith or by the need to manipulate circumstances, people or even God?
Do you approach Your Circumstances in Faith or the desire to Manipulate?
When you face painful circumstances, it is difficult if not impossible not to ask God to change them. In Fact, prayer can be a statement that you are trusting God to improve your circumstances. Can you imagine Joseph in the Old Testament not praying for his release as He languished in prison? I'm sure he cried out to God for relief. But instead God used him in the prison. And God chose to use his situation to promote him to the highest position in the land.
In Philippians 2:5 and following Paul says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." Jesus voluntarily left heaven and all its glory to be born in a manger, to have no place to lay His head, to be rejected by men, to be unjustly condemned and crucified for you. In John 12:27,28 He said, "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father save me from this hour? No, it was for this very reason that I came to this hour." God has also determined your circumstances, however painful. Can you trust God to use you in the situations where He has planted you?
Do you trust God to work in Other People's lives rather than trying to manipulate them? When you and I are driven to change someone else, we need to ask ourselves if we are trying to manipulate them for their benefit or for ourselves. This may be difficult to determine because we are so quick to justify our behavior. Even if our motives are always pure, we must trust other people to God. Have you noticed that God gives people the freedom to sin and even to reject Him? Without such freedom there could be no true righteousness? It is difficult to watch someone you love ruin their life. And realizing that you cannot manipulate them to do what you want becomes a motivation to pray. Faith trusts and cries out to God to speak to their hearts to draw them to repent and voluntarily turn to Him. Only God can do what needs to be done in someone's heart.
Are you seeking to Manipulate God?
When our prayers are driven by wants and fears rather than faith in our Heavenly Father, we fall into praying and doing anything else we do to put God in our debt, so He will have to give us what we want. We are trying to pray against God's will. Philippians 4:6 calls us to lift our prayers with thanksgiving. You can exercise your faith in God's grace by giving thanks before you see how God will answer your prayers. He is your Father. And you can trust Him to give you what you need. Our children don't always understand what we are trying to do for them. But in the long run they come to appreciate their parents' love. You can trust God to give you what you ask for or to give you what you would ask for if you knew everything He knows.
I need to let all of you who read my blog know, that the Kindle edition of Home In The Wilderness, my latest novel will be free Tuesday, August 16 through Friday, August 19, 2016. https://goo.gl/X3IFQT