I shared awhile back that prayer is a constant challenge to me. I struggle with it in so many ways, and even though I’m constantly working toward a deeper understanding of all that it can be, I often feel like I’m just doing it wrong somehow.
Some of my struggle comes in the fact that I wonder, really, if my prayers actually accomplish anything. “Can I change the mind of God?” I wonder. “I know He hears me…but if He is sovereign and has a plan for everything above what I can understand, do my prayers sway Him one way or another?”
It’s hard for me to admit this, y’all, because few people do. I think, though, that there are more of us who struggle with this kind of question than who don’t. We’re supposed to have ultimate faith in prayer, right? And we’re supposed to believe in its power to alter situations and change the world. While it may seem contradictory to say so, I do believe those things……just not necessarily for my own prayers. I’ve seen and heard prayers change things for people in my life, but for me? I wonder if it’s possible.
Even now, I’m considering deleting those words. I’m not supposed to say those things.
The thing is, though, that I’m not giving up. I really think prayer is a gift God has given to us, and I don’t think God asks us to do things that have no purpose. Prayer is supposed to draw me closer to the heart of God, and because of that I won’t give up trying to experience it for all that it can be.
When I’m plagued by my doubts, though, I have found one simple prayer – five simple words – that connects my anxious heart to the benevolent heart of God. They aren’t words I came up with, but words from Christ Himself:
“Lord, thy will be done.”
Ultimately, those are the only words I need. If I trust God, His will is a safe place to be. If I love God and believe in His love for me, I can leave my worries and anxieties and fears in His hands and know that He will seek only the best for me. And when I wonder if my words will change anything at all, simply submitting to His perfect will for my life and different situations is a powerful act of worship.
When I don’t know what to pray for a difficult situation, I pray for Jesus to speak peace into the storm.
When I wonder if my prayers are doing anything and need to just submit to God’s purposes, I pray for God’s will to be done.
I’m finding that prayer doesn’t have to be complicated. My heart just has to be in the right place when I do it. I hope this is even the slightest encouragement to you, friend. God just wants to hear your voice.