Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Isn’t it funny how your feelings and belief can swing wildly from one day to the next? I even find myself feeling completely confident in God’s sovereign control and perfect purposes one minute and an hour later I am floundering.
The girls and I were talking about prayer in our devotions for this week. Yesterday we read the verse, John 16:23b-24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
What “ask of the Father in My Name” means is that the pray-er is directed to God the Father in a spirit of complete agreement with the will and purposes of Christ. Jesus is teaching that we are praying “in His Name” as a means of invoking his mediation, as the One who secures our access to the Father, and looking to Him for support, as our intercessor in the Father’s presence. It isn’t that God will answer whatever I choose to ask Him – in the way that my heart might want. The point of prayer is to bend our hearts and will to God’s will.
And, this has been my prayer regarding Levi and our adoption. I have asked that God would work in my heart and that what I want would be what God’s perfect and holy will is. I would never want to demand of God what I think is best.
It does seem that God wants us to be persistent in our prayers. Have you ever read the parable of the persistent (obnoxious!) widow and wondered what Jesus was trying to teach us in that story?
Luke 18:1-8 1And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'” 6And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
I am sometimes unsure of how to apply certain scripture to my own circumstances. I do not want to read something into these verses that God did not intend to say. I also want to be careful to study this scripture in light of other scripture. However, I can count on these facts: 1) God is NOT like this unrighteous judge. He ALWAYS does what is right and is filled with compassion for believers who are suffering and will certainly respond to those He loves who cry for help. 2) The Lord may delay, but it will be for good reason.
So, I trust that God is sovereignly in control of all of this – judges and people in India that I cannot talk to, let alone see! We are completely dependent on Him in this – which isn’t a bad place to be! I know that, “all things work together for good to those that love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.” (Rom. 8:28) The good that God plans in this situation may or may not be bringing Levi to be in our family, but there WILL be good. I am learning to pray in submission to God’s perfect and holy will as we also honestly ask for what we desire.
I hope that very soon we will be able to share with all of you the way that God has answered our prayers and how He has powerfully shown Himself to be sovereign and full of glory. We desire that God is glorified in this circumstance and in our lives. That is our ultimate prayer.