a reluctant prayer


Have there been prayers you’ve been reluctant to pray because you don’t know exactly how God will answer?

I know I have.  Today, I share a prayer from a ol’ prof of mine from college.  In the past year he has lost his best friend and soul mate.  In many ways he’s living out the answers to his prayer with a fitting title.  Before reading the prayer, it may help to have the back story from the author himself,

Was looking for a mailing envelope this morning to send a copy of Donna’s death certificate as part of what I hope is the last annuity transfer. Every time I do something like this, as I have said before, it is like erasing her a little at a time. Her name comes off the annuity, and now it’s just my name. All by itself. Looks very wrong, somehow, for it’s always been “Ed and Donna Chesley.” Simply “Ed Chesley” looks to be incomplete–and lonely. At any rate, in the course of looking for that envelope, I ended up looking through some of Donna’s teaching files. These files contained outlines and other material she used in speaking engagements and ladies’ group devotions. Shed quite a few tears, but I was impressed all over again at her spiritual wisdom and insight, presented clearly and simply. She used Chris and myself in one or two of them. She loved to teach kids and share with ladies but never felt she could do a good job or had anything of substance to offer. In that, she was very wrong. Donna was indeed a Proverbs 31 wife and a great servant of Her Lord. I was proud of her then; I am doubly proud now as I read through these notes. I also found in her files a prayer I had written years ago. It is not dated, but according to the material with which it was filed, I wrote it in 1995 or 1996. She must have used it in at least one of her speaking opportunities. Given my present circumstance, I thought I might be bold enough to share this with you. File it under the category “God may take you at your word.”

A Reluctant Prayer

Lord, I want you to be my Lord.

I want you to have all that I think is mine, but what, in fact, belongs to You.

If you need to break my heart by taking whatever I love but should not . . . then break it.

If you need to turn that at which I think I should succeed into failure . . . then make me a failure.

If you need to frustrate me by withholding the one thing I want most in this life . . . then disappoint me. But please forgive my bitter tears!

If you need to take all the time I have and give it to others . . . then take my time.

If what you need is my foolishness rather than the wisdom of which I am so proud . . . then make me a fool.

If you want in my life the thing I fear most . . . then frighten me. But please hold my hand!

If you know that I need trouble in my life more than comfort . . . then trouble me.

If you want my attention, then take those things that so easily distract me . . . and replace them with Yourself.

Lord, I do not ask for these things because I am noble . . . Oh, no! I will not insult you by saying how much I want these things. You know me better than that–better than anyone, for You know my heart. You know how reluctantly I pray this prayer.

But I know that what you want for me is best . . .so help me to trust you, please!

All I ask is that none of your faithful ones be shamed by me and that you give me the sustaining grace to accept whatever You give or take.

Thank You, Lord, for Your good and perfect intentions toward me.

Amen.

–eac

Used with permission from the author. Image source.

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