Day Five (Guest Devo by @MarkBatterson).
This happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
But don’t pray away.
How many times did the blind man in John 9 pray for healing? How many times did his parents beg God to give their little boy his eyesight? I wonder how many prayers went unanswered. Or did they? Ultimately, the man born blind was healed but not until it would yield the greatest glory.
Let’s be honest, 90% of our prayers revolve around personal comfort, not God’s glory. Too often we try to pray away every problem. But what if that is the very thing that God wants to leverage for his glory? Let’s not be too quick to pray away the pain, the suffering, the situation, the problem. Let’s not just pray “get me out” prayers. We sometimes need to pray “get me through” prayers.
We need a paradigm-shift in our prayer lives. It’s not about us. It’s all about God. And when you begin to pray for God’s glory above and beyond everything else it’s a game changer! You no longer pray away every problem. You pray through the problem. You know that God might do a miracle, but that isn’t the goal. The goal is God’s glory. And if suffering with grace yields more glory to God then so be it.
Remember when Paul prayed that God would take away his thorn in the flesh? God didn’t answer that prayer the way Paul wanted. Why? I’m not entirely sure. Maybe it forced a greater dependence upon God which yielded more glory for God. Maybe it kept him humble. But God has reasons that are way beyond our reason! I’ve prayed that God would heal me of asthma so many times I’ve lost count, but God hasn’t chosen to answer that particular prayer. I’m still asking, but in the meantime I’m trusting that Father knows best.
Too often we’re so anxious to “get out” of difficult situations that we never “get anything out” of those difficult situations. We don’t learn the lessons God is teaching or cultivate the character God is developing. Sometimes prayer is meant to change external circumstances and bring deliverance. Sometimes prayer is meant to change us internally and help us walk through those situations with His grace, His power. It takes discernment to know what God wills, but let’s not try to pray away the very thing God wants to leverage to put His glory on display!
Don’t pray away. Pray through.