I grew up in Raleigh, NC and am a NCSU alum. Therefore a couple weeks ago I was very interested in State’s upset win of Florida State in college football. In fact I did something that I don’t know of doing since I was a teenager, I prayed for State to win.
It’s a strange feeling to pray for a team to win. Does God care about the game? Will no one pray for the other team?
“The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course.” – Billy Graham
What good is it to pray for this?
I will say we should pray for whatever God puts on our hearts. However the danger of praying for outcomes of games is will we still trust God if our team loses anyway?
This can obviously apply to a myriad of things:
- God, let me date this person.
- Let me get this job.
- Don’t let it rain today.
- Have someone offer to hang out with me.
How does the devil encourages you to pray?
God loves our desires and wants us to pursue them. And yet, I feel that often it may be the enemy who is also encouraging us to pursue them. Here is why I say this…
The enemy knows if we get too focused on what we want from God, we can more easily be led astray. By becoming too focused on the prayers we often lose focus on God. Attaining our goals start to take priority over attaining God. When our prayers are not answered, our hopes get crushed and we give up on prayer; we give up on God.
How do we remain persistent in prayer?
David was told by Samuel that he would be king, but then he spends years running from the person who was king. Reading the accounts of David during this time, you can see the struggles he has, but he continues to come back to God. Two times David was given the chance to kill Saul; both times he refused. Why?
David chose to focus on God rather than the fulfillment of the promise God gave him. By focusing on God, David could assess the situation and follow God’s leading in the moment. He did not force the thing he wanted. Instead, he trusted God’s process.
I don’t want to discourage our quests to ask God for everything on our hearts, but those desires should not eclipse our love for God. When we get too focused on what He can give us over who He is, we no longer love God but are instead living our lives to manipulate Him to do what we want.
How can Christians praise God in difficulties and painful events?
It is because we know that God loves us and He will make all things new that we can praise God when things don’t seem to go our way. If God choses not to answer the prayers of our hearts, than we rejoice because that means God has something better that we cannot see now. It is only when our eyes are on God and not what we asking for that we can rejoice like this.
God’s heart is set on you. He desires to bless you and lead you into everything He created you for. He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
For the record I did not pray for State this past weekend as well. Although, it seemed like someone did.
- What is something seeming insignificant that you prayed for where God answered in your favor?
Original image courtesy of @ESPNCFB
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.