Many years ago I began praying very specifically for something to happen in my life. I prayed this particular petition over and over again. I bombarded God's throne of grace as persistently as the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15.
I believed that I was exercising faith. I was boldly telling Jesus what I wanted to have happen, the exact way I wanted my prayer to be answered.
Prayers like that are OK as long as, in faith, the prayer is concluded with, "But not my will but Your will be done."
I didn't give God that option. I knew best.
So God answered my prayer. I was happy.
That led to a five year period in my life that was miserable and painful, filled with discouragement and depression.
Last month I read something that was said by Pastor Tim Keller. It really resonated with me. Especially in light of my previous experience so many years ago.
We can be sure our prayers are answered precisely in the way we would want them to be answered if we knew everything God knows.
We live day by day, moment by moment. I have no idea what this day holds for me. I have planned my work out for the day. I have no idea if I will work my plan or if something else will scuttle those plans.
God sees the big picture. Because He is divine and all-knowing, nothing will happen that will be a surprise to the Lord. He knows what I need.
How important it is for us, children of God, to bring our needs to the Lord in prayer each day. As you do so, ask and seek and knock just as Jesus has directed. Honest prayers, filled with honest emotions, are never rejected by Jesus.
But as you pray ask for His will and not your will to be done. Pray for yourself and others and then leave those petitions before God's throne of grace, trusting in His mercy and love for you.
We don't know everything. But God does.