But today, she heard about an impossible situation and called me to ask for prayer. A woman she counsels is desperately trying to overcome a drug addiction. The woman has a few children, but so far, hasn’t been able to kick the habit. She recently found out that her young daughter was abused by a male acquaintance.
Her first reaction was to turn the man in to the authorities, but it came with a price. The woman had a warrant out for her arrest because of a previous crime she committed while on drugs. She knew she would be arrested as soon as she contacted the police, but felt it was worth it so no other children would be harmed.
When my friend called and asked me to pray for this situation, my heart immediately went out to the woman. If she were arrested, her children would likely be split up and send to live in foster homes while she served prison time for her crime.
So I began to pray that the authorities would show her mercy so her children wouldn’t have to experience the trauma of being separated from their mother and each other. But as I was praying, I felt an uneasiness. What if God has plans I don't know about? What if this time “away” is His way of healing her addiction and making the way for a beautiful, drug free life? What if it would afford her children the chance to grow up in a healthy home, and that changed the course of their lives for the better?
The more I tried to pray for things to turn out the way I thought they should, the more difficult it became. Finally, it hit me.
Why am I trying to convince God to do things “my way” when He’s the one with the answers?
So, I stopped praying “my” prayer, and began praying that His perfect will be done in this situation. I was instantly filled with peace.
As Christians, we know His will is perfect, even when it looks like things are out of control. And I realized as I accepted His will in the situation of this precious mother that if only I could consistently view my own life and problems in the same way, things would be different. I would be different.
After all, we are called to trust God, but when we pray for our will, we’re not trusting Him. And that I suspect, might be a problem in many believer’s lives.
What about you? Are there times when you try to convince God to do things your way? What happens when He doesn’t?