Occasionally when I’ve begun to pray, my vision seems blurred. Fuzzy. As though my prayer is out of focus because I don’t know exactly what to pray for or how to pray. But like adjusting the focus on [my] binoculars while I looked through them, I’ve found that as I pray, my thoughts become clearer, my focus sharper, and my requests more specific.
Daniel seems to have experienced this while praying because he states that God gave him insight and understanding, “While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people…while I was still in prayer…” (Dan. 9:20-22). It’s encouraging to me to know I don’t have to know specifically how or what to pray in order to submit to my Father’s guiding whisper. Sometimes I’m intimidated to pray beyond the limits of what I can imagine or understand. But as I am praying, God can bring to my mind the thoughts and ideas that have eluded my own understanding.
Why is it that I think after I pray it’s my responsibility to do all I can to bring about the answer? Why do I take the battle into my own hands? Like a drowning person who tries to “help” the rescuer, I wonder how many times I have actually hindered God’s answer to my prayers. I find it encouraging to be reassured that I don’t have to know everything, understand everything, analyze everything before I pray for something.
This is true for all of us. We don’t have to have a clear comprehension of what the need is or what the solution should be. We don’t have to tell God how to “fix” things or even suggest what His course of action might be. We don’t have to solve the problem for Him. What a relief it is to know all we have to do is to get down on our knees and state the problem. The burden to resolve the situation is His, not yours and mine.
– Ann Graham Lotz
I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people, pleading with the Lord my God for Jerusalem, His holy mountain. As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice. He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God.
– Daniel 9:20-23 (NLT)
My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.
– 1 John 5:14,15 (MSG)
Photo by Susie Stewart