It is not uncommon when praying to reason with God and present our arguments why He should grant our requests. The idea would be laughable if not so common. While God wants us to bring our petitions before Him (Philippians 4:6), when we do so, we should simply lay them at His feet. God knows everything we need (Matthew 6:31-33) and has the context of every person and event past, present, and future.
Therefore, He alone can make the wisest decision regarding our appeal. When we go on about why Jesus should give us what we are asking for, we make ourselves a foolish babbler, filling our prayers with many words that impress no one except ourselves. Again, Jesus knows what we need before we even ask Him (Matthew 6:7-8). We can trust Him, and we must if we want to have a vibrant prayer life.
We delude ourselves into thinking we are wise enough to direct the actions of God. This isn’t anything new as Paul chastised the church in Corinth for doing this over 2,000 years ago (I Corinthians 3:18-20). I suspect it’s been going on since the beginning of time. God will grant wisdom to His disciples, and there is a Biblical precedent for asking Him for it (1 Kings 3:5-10; James 1:5). Yet, no matter how much wisdom He may grant us, it will never be enough to comprehend the vastness of our world and all the millions of interactions that weave in and out of life every second. It’s too much. Our greatest wisdom is foolishness.
When we approach the throne of God with our requests, we are there because what we are asking is beyond us. Why then would we try to steer the answer to our prayer? We simply cannot see everything involved. So many are disappointed when God doesn’t “answer their prayer”. What they mean is God didn’t answer their prayer in the way they wanted it answered. The privilege of talking with God does not include the right to dictate His actions. The Lord wants us to trust Him with our requests, knowing He will do what is best according to His sovereign plan for the salvation of the world. Sometimes that may mean He answers exactly as we would like Him to. Other times it won’t. Either way, the point is we must trust Him with our cares and concerns.
As our trust in Christ deepens, our prayers will increasingly align with His will. As they do, we will find more of our prayers answered in the way we have in mind, not because God is favoring our trust in Him, but because He is aligning our thoughts with His. When we trust God without hesitation or reservation, we begin to have the mind of Christ. Our prayers will change, and we will ask only expecting God will do what is best for furthering His mission and bringing His Kingdom to earth as it is in Heaven. Nothing is more important than that, and as we mature in our faith, we will see and welcome that knowledge. You can trust Jesus with whatever it is you ask. While the answer might not look like you envisioned, rest in knowing His answer is the best answer for His eternal glory. We need only trust Him.