Dear Lord, I am all yours.
Dear Lord, teach me how to forgive.
Dear Lord, give me patience.
These are prayers I’ve prayed. They are not prayers I regret praying, but they’re prayers I did not realize what I was truly asking for when I said them.
Maybe you’ve prayed them, too. Maybe you are learning the hard way that God answers prayers we may not always mean, or understand their implications.
When I prayed, “I am all yours,” everything started to change. Friendships dissolved, grades decreased, and my health dwindled. Schedules flipped and direction flopped.
I learned when I pray, “I am all yours,” The Lord expects all of me and nothing less. It is silly I fretted over uncomfortable changing when I asked for it, even if my plea was indirect.
When I prayed, “Teach me how to forgive,” one of my closest friends betrayed me. My heart broke, my world shattered, and my eyes gushed tears night after night.
I learned when I pray, “Teach me how to forgive,” The Lord just may allow an opportunity to experience forgiving firsthand.
When I prayed, “Give me patience,” I was single for 20 years, and I’m still going strong. I embrace the time and availability I’ve been blessed with. Nevertheless, I become lonely and needy on occasion.
I learned when I pray, “Give me patience,” The Lord can place me in a situation causing me to wait. and wait. and wait.
Sometimes I don’t mean what I pray, but I get what I asked for.
The beauty of it all is, The Lord knows what I need. He knows which areas I need to learn and grow and refine myself.
He knows how to stretch my faith.
He knows how to decrease the selfishness and self-absorption I often fall victim to, and He knows how to increase my ability to persevere by placing full confidence, trust, and hope in Him.
These days, I’m more careful what I pray for.
I dissect the condition of my heart when speaking to God. I question motives and intentions behind my desires. Are they pure? I hypothesize the potential requirements or strings attached to my requests. Am I willing to do x in order to get y?
If I’m unwilling, maybe I shouldn’t ask for it — not that it hinders God in any way. If I’m unwilling, maybe I should ask, because I could use growth in that area. If I am willing, then by all means, I’ll ask away!
In the end, The Lord is always up to good things. We can trust that in the thick and thin, He is working for our good. When bringing The Lord glory is our ultimate goal, even trials and tribulations of this world cannot hold us back from loving our Heavenly Father with our lives.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT