“When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, ‘This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!’ They said to Him, ’We have here only five loaves and two fish.’ And He said, ‘Bring them here to Me.’ Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. (Matthew 14:14-20, NASB)
When it comes to praying to God (likened to the disciples talking to Jesus) about a need you are aware of, I indicated that our initial approach to God should be to seek his mind in the matter. From there we can move to the next “paragraph” in our talk with God.
There are things we can be quite certain about as being God’s will, or not, and can speak to directly with confidence. When prayer requests or needs come to us, we may already either, 1) know it is God’s will based on scripture (e.g.: we can always pray for a person’s salvation, for God desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth: I Timothy 2:1-4), or 2) know it is not God’s will, again based on scripture, and therefore we cannot pray for it, even when a person makes a prayer request for such a thing (e.g.: I John 5:16,17). There are some things we can know without a doubt and pray accordingly, as we are growing in knowledge of God’s word and ways.
But then again, I’ve found there are many times when I do not have enough information, or “intelligence,” needed to pray about a certain issue. Here is where I try to be very careful so that my prayers do not end up beating against a door God himself has shut.
Photo by Schick
Even when to pray a certain way makes perfect sense to me (that the door should be opened, like the disciples believed they should send away the crowd to get their own dinner), it may not be at all what God has in mind. Because he has, so to speak, bigger fish to fry.
To be continued ….