Have you ever prayed with everything in you for something and it didn't happen? I remember one time I did. I was a Junior in high school and our basketball team was playing against our rival team for a slot in the championship game. There was only ten seconds on the clock and we were one shot down. The other cheerleaders and I huddled together on the sidelines and prayed. “Please God, let us get one last shot.”
We got the ball, our player shot, and he missed. The buzzed sounded and the crowd on the rival side cheered with victory. I was disappointed, and I wondered if our prayers made any difference. Obviously not.
I'd prayed other times in junior high and high school too. I prayed before tests. I prayed for certain guys to like me. I prayed I wouldn't be sitting by myself, alone and forgotten, at the school dance. Yet even though I prayed, it didn't seem to make any difference. I could have come up with some ritual like patting my head three times and turning in a circle. That would have done as much good as my prayers … or so it seemed.
What I didn't realize then was there is more to this prayer thing than I first realized. It's not just about believing there could be a God “up there somewhere” and sending up a plea for help. Lots of people pray for many things, and like me they probably don't get the answers they hope for. Maybe that's because prayer isn't about getting God to do what we want. Instead, it's open communication with a loving Creator who wants to be part of our everyday lives. God wants more from me then just sending up hurried prayers during desperate times, hoping they'll do the trick.
First things first
Before we can pray, and expect our words to make a difference, we must have a relationship with God. We must decide we do not want to live this life without Him. We must give Him our whole selves, our whole hearts.
God is the true lover of our souls. He knows the desires of our hearts. He has a good plan for our lives, and for many that includes plans for a future husband.
In the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11 says: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (NIV).
Isn’t that incredible? God has plans for your future! He wants you to prosper and to have hope. God doesn't just want to be “that guy in heaven” you turn to when you want your team to win or when you want your mind to remember a certain algebraic equation. He wants to be included in much, much more than that … your whole future. Listen to what the next verses say.
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (vs 12-13 NIV).
God just doesn’t want us to hang around waiting and worrying and wistfully hoping everything will turn out alright. No! These verses tell us He wants us to call upon Him, to come to Him, and to pray. God promises He will listen.
When we seek Him with all our hearts we will find Him. That is where your love life must begin. At the heart-level. And once God is deep in our hearts, our prayers will take on a whole new meaning.