Every single day, without realizing it, we pray selfish prayers. We pray for things to happen that we want to happen, never once asking if the prayer we want fulfilled is a part of God’s plan for our lives. I am so so guilty of this. I like to be in control and do things how I would like them to be done. I have learned that God laughs at people who try to plan things out. So basically God laughs at me on a regular basis.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord determines their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
Unfortunately for us humans, we can plan our life out as much as we want to, but in the end, the Lord’s plan and purpose prevails in our lives. You would think that this should bring us great comfort, to know that God has got our backs, but this us something I often struggle with and I know I am not the only one. When I pray to God, I often pray for Him to allow things to happen in my life, to open certain doors and bless me in a way that I would like to be blessed. I have learned however, that it just doesn’t work that way. The problem with selfish prayers is that God doesn’t always answer them, then we become frustrated with God because He isn’t doing what we are asking Him to do or pleading for Him to do. But did it ever occur to us that maybe what we are praying for isn’t what is best for us? I am a big picture kind of gal, and so not seeing the big picture for my life can be so difficult for me to accept. As a follower of Christ, I must learn that only God knows the big picture, and I must pray for His will to be done in my life and not my will. I must learn that when God doesn’t open a certain door, it is because He is waiting to open one that the reward on the other side is even better than we could ever imagine.
Jesus gives us an amazing example of the trust we should have for God’s will and how to not pray selfish prayers. Right before Jesus is going to be crucified, he is praying to God in Heaven about His fate. Not only was Jesus to be crucified, but the sin of every person was to be laid upon him during His brutal death. It was a scary fate to accept, but Jesus trusted the will of God. He prayed:
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
Not my will but yours be done. What a powerful prayer to pray. That is putting your full trust in God. As we pray, we should tell God what Jesus also told Him. We should not pray selfishly for our own will to be done, but we must trust that what God has for us is what is best for us. His will and His way is perfect and we must put all of our trust in that.
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways submit to Him, and he will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6