Dec
05

Do You Really Want What You Pray For?

Do you ever find yourself praying away your circumstances? I do. However, when I look at my “wishes” I often find contradictory statements…  “Please let us have a bigger house so we won’t be so crowded.” Then…“If we had a smaller house it wouldn’t take me so long to clean it.” Or…“May I have a job that is more mentally challenging?” To…”I wish I had an easier job so I wouldn’t have to think so much.” and on and on it goes.

As I drove in to work this morning, my prayers were filled with petitions to God for Him to change a circumstance in my life. But my mind floundered. What would happen if He removed the circumstance? Would that solve the problem and bring me peace? Or would I be bored and complacent?

I thought about this and then Mary, the mother of Jesus, came to mind. If there was ever a woman tempted to wish away her circumstances, Mary was probably it….

She was a woman (obviously), living in a time when women weren’t all that popular. She was engaged to be married, showed up pregnant, but not with her fiancé’s baby. It was another man’s – God’s actually. (Like that excuse ever goes over well.)

No one seemed to believe her so God intervened and convinced her fiancé, Joseph, to believe her. Joseph, now on board, stepped up and protected her from a possible stoning. Phew – maybe life will get easier now.

Oops – don’t think so. Months later she’s on the verge of delivering God’s son and has to travel miles by donkey because some silly census and a prophecy. She delivers in a stable, in the cold, filled with dirty animals – without an epidural! Surely the hard part is over.

Umm…doesn’t look like it. Jesus is born and just as things seem to be settling down, some crazy ruler wants to kill her baby so they all flee to Egypt and live as refugees. Are you serious? Wouldn’t it be easier for God to remove the crazy ruler?

Life starts to normalize again but her son is a bit “odd”. He’s not like the other kids and parents know how hard that can be to watch. He sneaks off, not to flirt with girls or tip camels during the night, but to “talk God” with the leaders of the Temple. Before long He’s claiming to be God’s son and challenging the Temple leaders. Uh oh.

I wonder if she ever prayed away her uncomfortable circumstances? Did she ever lay awake at night and wished for a normal, easy-going life?

Maybe. I know I would have.

What if she did and God had granted her the wish and gave the job of raising his son to someone else?

Think about all that she would have missed out on?

The heartache, trials and struggles would have been less, but she also would have missed out on…

…hugging and kissing baby Jesus.

…knowing Him better than anyone.

She knew and felt His love firsthand. She literally saw it manifested in His life and His death.

Life would have been easier but it would not have been better. Not even close.

True peace doesn’t come from our circumstances. It comes from saying “yes” to God and following through on what He asks of us.

God sent an angel to tell Mary what God had asked of her. She didn’t refuse or pray it away. Nope.

She told the angel, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” Luke 1:38

God’s called us all to do something great for Him. We just have to be willing to say, “Yes!”

Do your circumstances tempt you to pray away God’s call on your life?

Say yes! The pain will be temporary but the rewards will be eternal.