Have you ever found yourself asking God the wrong question, praying the wrong prayer? I know I have.
Most of those times, its when I’m asking God to do something that’s unpleasant and difficult to walk through. We can ask God to take away our circumstances, take away the thing that is constantly pestering us, challenging us, frustrating us. And sometimes He does. I’ve had times where He’s moved me, or moved the thing that I was praying for Him to take away.
But what about the times where we pray for Him to move in our lives in a way that He doesn’t? How about this year, where we’ve (or at least just me) have prayed and prayed for God to make it better and to take away the challenges and the testing. Yet, no matter how hard I prayed for Him to take it away, He doesn’t.
So here’s the question, is God remaining silent, unmoving and unworking in our lives when He doesn’t move in the way we want Him to? It’s tempting to say and conclude that way when we don’t see our requests answered how we’d like.
But what if instead, we pause and ask, God what are you doing in my life? What are you saying?
When I finally did that, I got this answer:
My grace is enough for you.
When God spoke that to me, I realized that I was praying the wrong prayer. I was not able to see the thing God was trying to teach me and do in my life because I was so caught up in Him taking it away.
What God told me was the same thing He told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9:
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
Paul also asked for God to take away circumstance and testing in his life, but Paul, like me eventually, heard from God a different answer, an answer with the purpose of the season Paul was remaining in.
Sometimes God allows hard, testing seasons of our life to remain so that we learn how to lean into His power and His grace. He cares more about the transformational power of Jesus through us than He does about circumstances and situations. And if we allow Him, He will put you in a place in your life where you have to learn that truly, His grace is all that you need.
So next time (or this time), if you feel like you are not getting the answer you would want from your prayers, I would say ask a different question. Because usually, God is magnificently at work in each one of our lives in something far greater than we can see right now. And usually what He is teaching us is to depend on Him, not ourselves.
My new prayer is that God gives me the strength and endurance I need to remain steadfast in whatever season in which He has me, whatever the challenges and tests may be. That I learn more quickly than ever before to lean into His strength, not mine, and that His grace is all that I need.