I recently took a trip to Napa with my wife and without our children. It was a lovely couple days. The weather was amazing and the company was even better. So many of the places there have been done with excellence and were just beautiful. I would love a place as nice as that. Is that okay to pray for?
Affluence is often difficult for a Christian to be around. We are not to covet, nor are we to love money (Exodus 20: 17 & 1 Timothy 6:10). At the same time we know that God wants to bless His children. Abraham, David, and Solomon are did very well with regards to prosperity. Joseph also eventually got there. For each one the prosperity was a sign of God’s pleasure in them.
Job is another example. After his wealth and prosperity were taken from him, they were eventually given back in double measure. In the Psalms we are told that wealth and riches are a reward for those that fear the Lord (Psalm 112:1-3).
However, lack of wealth is not a sign of God’s displeasure. Job is again the example. Joseph is also an example. For some people God needs to take them through poverty to prepare them for who God made them to be. So, is it okay to pray for prosperity?
Parable of the Divorced Parent
What if you were a divorced parent and your ex is a bad influence on your kids? Let’s say the bad habits include an openness to sexual partners, altering your kids sleeping and eating habits, and rude language. Every time you get your kids back you feel they need to go through detox.
Is it okay to pray for your ex to move out of town? It would make life easier. You wouldn’t have to worry about the bad influence. How can you be a good parent and keep sending your kids back into that environment? Wouldn’t God want them to leave town?
Maybe? Maybe not? We need to come back to that fact that God’s ways are not like ours (Isaiah 55:8). Maybe your child needs their input. Maybe the hole in their lives would be too great without your ex’s influence. While it maybe easier if they left, the fact is you don’t know what God has up His sleeve. But you do know that God loves you and your children and your ex. And He wills for each of you to receive all of His love.
Don’t be afraid of praying something that isn’t God’s will. If it not God’s will he won’t answer it, but being afraid of praying something that isn’t God’s will keeps people from praying bold prayers. – Mark Batterson
How are we to pray for those things we don’t know if they are God’s will?
1. Tell God your heart.
It doesn’t matter if your prayers are in God’s will or not. He wants to know your heart. If you are always second guessing whether God would approve of the request, you will never be real with Him. He knows your requests before you ask, so go ahead and ask.
Tell Him what you want. Tell Him why you what it. Spill your guts. God cannot correct what we hide from Him. When we bring things into the light, He can lead us to the best.
2. Ask God what He wants.
Sometimes we don’t know what God wants because we never ask. Sometimes we don’t ask because we don’t want to hear Him say something different than what we want. Being in relationship means we need to have open communication. Therefore we need to seek out what He wants and not assume we know best.
When you feel Him answering you, ask for more details. Why does God want that? Dive into His heart. He is not looking for a rule follower; He wants a friend.
3. Ask God to help you be on the same page.
All relationships will need compromise. If you have two different people, you will likely have different opinions on some things of what should be done. How will you work that out?
- You can just acquiesce and do what He wants.
- You can ignore God’s desires and pursue what you want.
- You can go heart to heart with God.
- How can you satisfy the heart of God’s request?
- How can God satisfy the heart behind yours?
- Where is the win-win?
God is not looking to bully you. He wants to satisfy our heart’s desires, but He cannot do that if we are not willing to find out what our hearts desire. God (intimately, deeply, truly) loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life (made specifically to touch your heart). If we really believed that we would passionately go after all of God. May our hearts burn for want of more of that kind of relationship.
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