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How have your prayers been lately?

A very instructive story from Charles Stanley on prayer that honours God :
Carl had been praying for months about his rebellious son. His twenty-two-year-old son had left home and was living with some boys in a shack outside of town. Carl knew his son had been involved with drugs before he left home and soon after learned that his son had become a drug dealer. Carl’s two main concerns were that God would bring his son home and that his son wouldn’t be arrested.

One morning while he was praying for his son, God spoke to Carl. Carl realised that this had been a selfish request. He was well-known in his town and would be embarrassed if his son was arrested on drug charges. Carl told the Lord that if the only way to deliver his son from his sin was to allow him to be arrested, then he was willing for that to happen—even at the expense of his reputation.

A few days later, Carl received a phone call from the police. His son had been arrested and was charged with possession of illegal drugs. As Carl drove to the police station to pick up his son, he realised that God had been waiting for him to get his attitude right before He could allow his son to come home. God honoured Carl’s obedience. He and his son rebuilt their broken relationship and soon afterward his son left home again, this time to study for ministry (Source : Handle with Prayer, 2011)
The lesson from this story is that when we give God a condition, He often makes that the condition on which the answer to our prayer hinges. When we pray for someone or ourselves, we must take our hands off the matter completely and let God work any way He sees fit. It may not come out the way we want it, but the outcome will always be in the best interest of both parties.

Too often our prayers are inhibited by the desire to maintain our reputation or comfort. But God's reason for answering prayer is always about bringing us closer and closer in an intimate relationship. God knows that our deepest need is not our families that love us or powerful job or the praise of our friends or governments that stand for justice. These things have their merit but they can never truly satisfy us. God is our deepest need. The only one who can truly meet all our needs. And of course as we become more satisfied in God, His glory becomes more magnified in our lives. Or as John Piper puts it, "God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in him".

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

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