Please forgive a moment of personal reflection…the past four months have been some of the most challenging of my entire life. My struggles to recuperate from my 5th knee replacement have been significant. Understandably, my prayer life has reflected those incredibly painful and difficult battles.
Along the way, scripture, music and insightful commentaries and quotes have fed my heart and soul. I think my favorite quote is from a message Tim Keller preached in 2010 entitled “The Real Signs of the Spirit.”
He said, “God says, ‘When a child of mine makes a request, I always give them what they would have asked for if they knew everything that I know.’ If we believe this, we will have peace. Make your requests known with thanksgiving.”
As all of us grapple with the choice of exactly what to bring before the Lord in prayer, I think Keller makes three notable points.
First, it’s important to note that the prayer request comes out of a personal relationship that exists between God and His kids. We are not praying in a neutral vacuum of air. We are talking to our Lord who always has our best interests at heart.
Secondly, Keller is making it clear that God knows things we do not. Our prayers are limited in scope and defined by our partial understanding of life’s issues. The mature believer can embrace the truth that God is God and we are not!
And thirdly, Keller assures us that the result of our trusting our heavenly Father is a tangible sense of peace. There is a benefit of “getting onto God’s bandwagon.” When we begin to see things from His perspective, the rancor and resentment begins to be replaced with peace and a calm sense of assurance that nothing is happening by chance.
I love this quote and have been trying to apply it to my own prayer life. Perhaps this week is a good time for you to clarify some of your requests. How do they line up with His will? What eternal purpose might be working through this set of circumstances?
Such a “pause” may very well usher in a deep sense of peace.