What do you pray for?

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Do you ever stop and think that what you’re praying for might be the exact opposite of what someone else is praying for?

I’ve been thinking about this the past couple of days. Today our pastor’s sermon was about praying for others and intercessory prayer. It was wonderful! There were a lot of things in the sermon that I needed to hear, and the sermon as a whole was a real blessing for me.

In some ways, it also gave me more ‘food for thought’ to munch on for a while.

I was telling Stephen yesterday about a conversation I had had with a friend about our upcoming move. My friend had started a sentence with, “If it’s the Lord’s will for you to move…” As I mulled it over, I began to wonder if maybe the whole “if” came from sincere concern that we do the right thing in serving the Lord. The reason I mentioned it to Stephen at all was because this friend is not the first person to have said it. There are several people who have referred to our move as an “if” and not a “when.”

It must be hard for friends to watch us pack up everything we own and move so many miles away. I am honestly dreading our last Sunday here, knowing we will say goodbye to many many dear friends. This church family has become so close that they truly are family. I do not want to leave these friends we have made. In all the hustle of moving and tying up loose ends I have not allowed myself to dwell on that last service at our home church. I accepted Christ here – Pilgrim Baptist truly is my home church. They walked with us as we started our adoption journey, and they saw Little man enter our family. These people are my loved ones. Not by blood, but by the heart. They are some of my closest Christian sisters and brothers.

Yet I am torn. God has laid a burden for Attica, Indiana so strongly on our hearts that we can think of little else but moving there. Every visit up there we return with a greater burden. A greater intensity in our hearts that we need to be there, to serve the Lord there. We are anxious to move. And God has shown us in many, many ways that this is what He wants for us. Just look at the many ways that He has provided for us! Money for bills exactly when we’ve needed it. Food right when we’ve needed groceries. Sure, the devil’s making things difficult, but God has confirmed this to us over and over and over again. But how do I explain that to my loved ones here? They don’t want us to leave…

That makes me really wonder. How many people are praying, “Lord, please let them stay here” when we are praying, “Lord, please let us move SOON” or “Please let us move this week!”

I know that there are many who are simply praying, “Lord, please do Your will in their lives – if that’s for them to move, fine, and if that’s them to stay, great, but please just do Your will.” That’s what we want people to pray…that God would just have His way in the entire situation.

So how do you pray? Do you pray for what YOU want? Or do you pray that the Lord’s will be accomplished?

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4 thoughts on “What do you pray for?”

  1. Hmmm, I guess I do both? I always make my petitions known but ultimately I pray that God’s will be done, and that I would know His will above anything else.

  2. We went through this so much while we waited for parental rights to be terminated on our two year old foster son. One court hearing a year ago said terminate, only to go back a few weeks later and over turn that to give mom three more months. We went through another year of her not working the case plan and inconsistent visitation. The whole time praying the Lord’s will be done. We told God what we wanted, but we prayed that in the end we would be strong enough to accept whatever He had planned. We felt that the Lord had given this special little boy to us to raise, but we also knew that he might have only given him to us for a season far shorter than we wanted. In the end, we will be adopting our little man on March 31, 2006. Almost two years after he came to live with us. Those were some of the hardest prayers I have prayed though!!

  3. Absolutely hear you. I’ve pretty much always prayed fervently what I HOPE for, but end my prayer with full submission to what He will deem best. This, I believe, is one of the ‘secrets’ to being free. Free from the burdens of doubting ‘my’ faith for what I’m asking for!! Thanks for the post.

  4. Melody, I know exactly what you mean! Our pastor has always taught us to pray for what we would desire, but to assure God that if He chooses not to grant this request or if it’s not in His will, that we will still praise and serve Him and accept His will in the matter. I see it as submission to His will no matter what, but we have the privilege of going to our Father and telling Him what we’d like. We don’t know how we ought to pray, many times, and we might be asking for something that would be completely wrong for us. So we pray for His will to be done and determine in our hearts that we will accept His will, even if it’s different from ours.

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