When you’re a child, and mom and dad say, “No,” who is likely to say, “Yes”? Grandma.
Mom doesn’t let you have ice cream for breakfast. But grandma probably would. Dad won’t let you jump on the sofa, but grandma might.
So, you start to learn that it’s easiest to just ask grandma first. Do whatever it takes- bat your eyes, maybe even shed a few tears, and beg if you have to. Grandma will give in. That’s why grandmas are awesome!
And while God is awesome, too, He’s not your grandma.
God isn’t there to say, “Yes!” to everything you ask Him for.
There’s this belief with many Christians that if you just pray “hard” enough, God will answer your prayers in the way that you like. If you BELIEVE enough, if you just have enough FAITH, God won’t let anything painful happen to you or those you love.
I’m sorry, but that’s nonsense. And it’s not Biblical.
The notion that God will grant you your every wish if you have enough faith is preposterous.
In case you forgot, there’s a story in the Bible of a man who prayed to God about a tough situation. His name was Jesus.
Jesus prayed, to God, three times, that if it was God’s will, He not be crucified. (Matthew 26:36-44)
Again, with emphasis.
JESUS prayed to GOD, THREE TIMES, that if it’s God’s will, He not be crucified.
JESUS. Son of God. The only perfect being to walk this earth, PRAYED for God to take away the task of Him taking on the sin of the world on a cross in an agonizing death.
And God said, “No.”
God. Told. JESUS. No.
And yet there are people who believe that if they just pray hard enough, they will get what they want from God.
It didn’t work for Jesus. Why would it work for you?
Why do people even believe that it would work in the first place?
It’s because we don’t understand what prayer really is. It’s not about begging God for things. It’s not about getting our way. It’s about telling God that we trust Him, and that we want to be in the center of His will, because we know that His will is what’s best.
“Prayer does not change God; it changes me.”
– C.S. Lewis
True faith isn’t just believing that God can cure your friend of cancer. True faith is believing God is still good after she dies.
Jesus told us how to pray. His example was all about trusting God’s will, forgiving people, and asking God for strength to resist temptation.
God isn’t your grandma. You can’t talk Him into or out of anything. You can’t bat your eyes, shed a few tears, and hope that just maybe He’ll change His mind about something. God’s will is God’s will. Sometimes it’s not what we want, but THAT is where faith steps in. We still believe He is good.
This Easter, I encourage you to remember that the only perfect and flawless person to walk this earth asked God to take the pain away, and God said, “No.” Was there ever anyone who had more faith than Jesus? Jesus’ true faith was ultimately revealed when He accepted God’s will and died on the cross for our sins.
It’s not wrong to let the desires of your heart be made known to the Lord, but remember that no amount of “believing” is going to change His mind and make your will, His.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”