How God’s Sovereignty Unfolds Through Prayer
Prayer is significant.
Prayer isn’t just an option in the Christian life, it’s a command. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are commanded to “pray without ceasing.”
Through prayer, we get to know God more, present our requests to God, and ultimately, learn to recognize His sovereignty in all situations.
You may be wondering how God proves Himself to be mighty... through our requests and concerns you may ask? Below are three ways that we can see God's sovereignty through prayer.
1. God Answers Our Prayers in Larger Ways than We Could Imagine
Sometimes what we are praying for isn’t actually what we need most at the moment. We don’t like to be uncomfortable in life, but have you ever stopped to consider that maybe God can use problems and discomfort to grow our character? The growth that comes from discomfort is much more valuable than the instant relief that would come if God just took away all of our problems. Take a moment to read Mark chapter two. The paralytic was brought down from the ceiling to Jesus because the area was so crowded. The paralytic came to Jesus seeking physical healing. However, Jesus does not physically heal the man first. Jesus offers him something greater than physical healing. He forgives the man’s sins (Mark 2:5).
After doing this, Jesus heals the man physically. He commands him to “rise, pick up your bed, and go home” (Mark 2:11). This is a great example in the Bible of God answering a request in a much bigger way than imagined. In this story, God not only gave the man what he truly needed, but after that, God went a step further and blessed the man by giving him what he wanted. Many times, what we are seeking from God isn’t what we really need, God gives us what he knows we need. He is often so sweet as to give us what we want too.
What are you praying for now and how is God answering your prayer in a more immense way?
I always like to look back at seasons and see how God answered my prayers in a much bigger and better way than I could have ever imagined. I like to keep a journal of each setback, confusion, or prayer request and then track how God works through it over the years. Looking back at past mountains God has moved inspires me to continue to have faith on the current mountain God is working in.
Unfortunately, as human beings, our spiritual memory is very weak. Whenever we are in a valley, we quickly forget what God has done in and through us. That’s why it’s important to write down the mountains God has moved in your life, review them often, and never forget them.
2. Pray with Faith, in Accordance to God’s Will
God has many promises for us, but sometimes we don’t bring them to prayer. When we pray in accordance to God’s will with faith, the Bible says that we will receive what we have prayed for. In James 1:5 it says that if we ask for wisdom fully believing that we will receive it, then it will be given to us.
One day I found myself praying for peace, for wisdom, and for joy. Then I realized I was praying for things God had already promised. God promises to give us the Holy Spirit, and He promises to give us the fruit of the spirit. The things I was praying for were things that had already been given to me. I just had to have the faith to accept them.
What has God’s already promised to you that you need to have the faith to believe?
3. Pray for Transformation, Instead of Protection
If you’re feeling bold, pray for God to bring you challenges so that you will grow in your faith. Often people pray for their life to be blessed or to have wealth and safety. However, it’s more important to pray for transformation through the trials instead of protection from trials. Trials are going to come, but what matters is what Jesus is doing in your heart through the trials. I think it’s incredible to pray for challenges, because after all, we often grow the most when we are faced with trials.
One of our greatest goals in life should be to grow closer to God. And if that is truly our goal, we can even face trials with joy, knowing that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness (James 1:2-3). And that, in the end, we will be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:4). Praying for God to give you challenges in order to grow shows complete dedication to your relationship with God. When you pray for a challenge you are showing God that you are willing and eager to grow in your faith, even at the expense of your own comfort.
God answers our prayers in a much larger way than we can imagine. He gives us what we need first and then takes it a step further and sometimes gives us what we want. If you don’t already have one, I would encourage you to keep a journal that logs all the ways God is working in your life! “For we know that God works in all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Search for pieces of scripture where you can put God’s promises to action through faith. Pray for transformation through the trial, rather than protection from the trial.
What has God’s already promised to you that you just need to have the faith to believe?
What are you praying for now, and how is God answering your prayer in a more immense way?
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