Confessions #2: Selfish Prayers

Written December 23, 2010.

I’ve come to realize that my prayers are incredibly selfish. I suppose that I don’t want to relinquish control of what I want or what I think is best for me. Living in a world of lesser dimension than the unfathomable infinity of God, I see circumstances as though through blinders: narrow-minded, ignorant of what lies beyond my scope of understanding. I tell God what I need, as if I know better than He does, rationalizing my selfishness by hoping that it’s His will too. Yet I know deep down that He has something so much better in store. It’s almost embarrassing to admit this childishness; I hold on the imperfection that I see, afraid to let go and reach out for something of which I have no concept.

There’s a scenic little spot at a fork in the road in the middle of nowhere that I pass every time I’m headed to I-24. I always stop and get out of the car; standing in the middle of the road, watching it branch off in two different directions, seeing the vast golden fields all around me and the blue canopy of sky over me, I have to admire the beauty of God’s creation. It feels almost like a representation of the proverbial crossroads of life; I look down the road to the right, wondering what lies past the curve. Yet I always get back in my car and go to the left, either to clock in at work or return to school after a much-needed break; either way facing again the busyness and stress of life.

Today I stepped out of the car with a thousand thoughts swirling madly around in my head. I hardly saw the scenery around me as a frustrated and desperate prayer came from my lips: “God, you know how much I want–” But then, as if an invisible hand was placed over my mouth, I stopped. And it hit me: how small and foolish I must look, shamelessly begging to get my way when I haven’t even seen what is around the next corner of life. I take the road to the left because it is familiar to me; but down the road to the right may be the answer to all my futile prayers.

That may sound really obvious. I’ve been told that very thing all my life, and I have even told others. Yet as I stood quietly in the presence of God, absorbing all of these thoughts, I truly understood it for the first time. I caught a glimpse of His goodness. I surrendered to His perfect will. And I knew I need ask no more. There remained but one thing that could be said:

Thank You.

Jeremiah 29:11“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Published in: on April 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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