When you are sick you want relief. When you are angry you seek justice. When you are hurt you want comfort. For all of these things, we as Christians are told to cry out to God. This is good! But from this point things can get a little uncertain. Should you pray for an immediate response? Has God turned away from you if there does not appear to be one?
There is some clear guidance for us in the Lord’s prayer. Christ instructs his disciples to pray:
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
These directions put everything in perspective!
Yes, you want immediate relief. I can relate to this, four years ago I received 7 weeks of radiation therapy for tongue cancer. The treatment is far from pleasant and it is 7 weeks long plus several weeks of recovery time. Was I wrong to ask for immediate relief from the pain? No, I don’t believe so as long as I was prepared to follow my Lord’s command as to how to pray. Whatever my request, it must be embedded in the larger concern that God’s will be done on earth and in heaven.
This means that I can trust God to act in the best way possible in the best time possible. There is no way I can know what is best, but my God knows! So, I follow Jesus’ direction and ask God to bring about his will which is profoundly better than what I can ask or imagine. I can ask God to do his will, even and especially, if it is different than mine.
You know that God hears your prayers. You know that he is committed to you. You know that Jesus Christ has prayed specifically for you. So yes, you make your request and then trust your heavenly Father to do what is best and act according to his will. When I do this it is a deep comfort to know that I have been heard and that God will do what is best for me. This reality sustained me during the time of intense pain caused by the radiation which was helping to heal my body.
Teach your children to trust God and to act according to his will. It will be a wonderful blessing to them when there are difficult times. It also is a blessing to you.