Petition (Ask for your needs)
Read: Philippians 4:6-7
When I was younger, I desperately wanted a four-wheeler. I mean, I REALLY wanted one. I would ask my mother every morning on the way to school, “Mom, can I have a four-wheeler?” In that classic, motherly tone, she would softly say, “Not yet, bud.” Eventually, I would begin to gather facts, figures, illustrations, anything that would persuade her to get me one. “Mom, I need a four-wheeler! I can run errands on it! Bruce Willis has one in all of his movies! It will make me responsible!” Again, she would calmly say, “Not yet, bud.” A year went by, and I never got the four-wheeler. On the eve of my sixteenth birthday, my mom took me outside into the yard to show me a birthday surprise. I was convinced it was the four-wheeler; however, after stepping onto the driveway I saw something even better: my first vehicle. Overjoyed, I turned to my mom and gave her a huge hug. She then told me, “This is why you didn’t get the four-wheeler. I was saving up to get you this.”
Have you ever had a time in your life when God told you, “no” or “not yet?” One of the most difficult things to do in our walk with the Lord can be asking Him for something and leaving the results to Him. So many times we want to help Him with the answer, too. Just like my younger self, we come up with facts and figures to try and persuade God to give us the answer we want to hear. “But God, if you help me get this job, then my influence for you will be incredible!” “If I can date this person, then I’m sure I can help them love you more!” “If you help me out of this situation, then I will give my life to you!”
But what if our anxiety isn’t based in the problems in our lives, but in our perceptions of how we think God should fix them? I believe that’s why Paul says in Philippians, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” When we trust God with the outcome, we have nothing to fear or be anxious about. He is a good, good Father, and His answers to our requests are always perfect. When He responds to our prayers with a “no” or a “not yet,” it means that He has something better in store. Not easy. Not comfortable. But better. He knows what we need even better than we do. So don’t worry when the answer isn’t what you expect; God hasn’t given up on you, and your best days are still ahead.
Pray: Father, thank You that You know my needs better than I do. Thank You that Your will is greater than anything that I could ever come up with on my own, and that when you answer “no” or “not yet” to my prayers, it means that something better is coming. Help me to maintain my perspective on your will and not my preferences. In Jesus’ name, amen.