When I Don’t Know What Else To Pray

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I’ve decided to pray the prayer that never fails…

Lord, Thy will be done.

Four words. That about covers it.

I believe in prayer. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in talking to God, listening to God, and conversing with God. I believe God hears my prayers and I believe I can hear His answers. I believe in praying God’s Word–His heart–and I believe in praying my words–my heart. I believe in being honest with God about my emotions and my feelings, good and bad. I believe in exalting God’s name and giving Him praise. I believe in rejoicing in what God has done and thanking Him for what He will do. I believe in confession and repentance. I believe prayer keeps me near to my Father’s heart.

I believe…I believe…I believe.

But, sometimes…I think God is calling me to a greater trust. When I’ve prayed it all, when I’ve bared my heart and soul, when I’ve exhausted myself and cried a bucketload of tears and don’t know what else to pray, maybe it’s just time to go to the prayer that never fails.

Because when it comes right down to it, I want to have a heart that reflects the will of the Father.

I was reading in Matthew 6 this morning where Jesus’ words have become so familiar that I often read them without a lot of thought. It’s here in this passage that Jesus teaches us how to pray,

“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (verses 7, 8)

The Father knows what you need….

Yes, I believe the Father wants us to ask, “You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2b

Yes, I believe the Father wants us to persist in prayer, “…pray without ceasing…” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Yes, I believe the Father wants us to take all our cares to Him, “…casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Yes, I believe in praying like this even though He already knows what I need, even though He already knows how He will answer, even though He already knows what’s best for me.

Yet, these familiar words cleansed me with a heavenly rain this very morning and brought my troubled spirit some rest. I read them while quiet tears fell unashamedly and a powerful truth washed over me,

Pray then, in this way:

our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come,

Your. Will. Be. Done… (verses 9, 10)

…and I realized that the one request I’ve been praying for what seems too many days and nights, months and years, the one thing I’ve been asking God for over and over again, the one repetitious prayer, the one prayer of earnest persistence, the care of my heart with all the worry and anxiety and fear, was something that God, in all of His Sovereignty, wanted me to fully, completely surrender to His will.

Period.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I think there comes a time when God says,

My Child, will you trust me? Will you let me have My way, no matter the outcome? 

Well…will you?

My heart wants to say, Yes. My will wants to say, Maybe. My flesh wants to say, No.

But the words of Jesus ring loud and long…“My Father knows what you need.”

I believe God is calling me to trust Him in a way I never have before. His will–what He wishes and what He determines; how He purposes to bless me through Christ; what His desires and pleasures are for me–is perfect because He is perfect, so He is perfect in all of His ways.

And I am not. So, I’m still learning in my walk of faith. I’m still learning how to pray. I’m still learning how to surrender. I’m still learning to trust. I’m still learning what it really means to pray four powerful words that cover it all,

Your will be done.

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