I got out one of my favorite books on prayer the other day. It’s been a while since it’s been off the shelf, but I knew exactly where to find it when I found myself wondering (once again) about the subject. It’s titled, “Don’t Just Stand There – Pray Something” by Ronald Dunn.
Dunn had a way of bringing scriptural truths to light while at the same time making you smile with his wit. In the chapter titled, “How God Answers Prayer”, he relayed this story:
One Friday afternoon when I was in college, a friend and I decided to drive home for the weekend. We piled into my ’46 Ford and, both of us being ministerial students, I asked my friend to pray for a safe trip. I bowed my head, closed my eyes and heard him say, “Dear Lord, we pray that You will protect us and grant us traveling mercies – unless we can glorify Thee better on a hospital bed.”
That was the last time I asked him to pray about anything. Still, in a crazy kind of way, my friend was right. Whatever we pray for, it is a given that the glory of God takes precedence. Sometimes God withholds the lesser in order to give the greater, and it may be that He cannot give me what I ask without compromising His own plan. So we must pray as Jesus prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:24).
What a great reminder. It’s not about my will and my plans. It’s about God’s will and God’s plans…and most importantly, His glory.
(from Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something – the Incredible Power of Intercessory Prayer by Ronald Dunn, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992)