Two Sides of a Prayer

The centurion seemed to be out of options. His servant, “who was highly regarded by him, was sick and about to die (Luke 7:2, NASB).” Yet perhaps there was one option left. So he sent some Jewish elders to urge Jesus to save his servants life. The elders tell Jesus, “He is worthy for You to grant this to him; for he loves our nation and it was he who built us our synagogue (7:4-5).”

Isn’t that like us sometimes? We rationalize before God in prayer as to why he should grant our request. We plead with him to stop something awful that is about to happen, reminding him we are deserving because of the great things we have done for Him. “Look what I’ve done, Lord, for you,” we plead our case. Shouldn’t I be healed because of my deeds?

Perhaps the centurion thought the elders had more influence, but it is his friends who express his heart. “Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof; for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed (7:6-7).” This is a man who humbly lays his request before the Lord.

When we humbly approach the Lord in prayer, we bare our heart and acknowledge we are helpless without Him. We show our faith in the Lord to accomplish our request, to “just say the word.” Submitting to God’s will shows we trust his wisdom, even if he chooses not to grant our request.

© 2020, Chris G Thelen

“I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith (Luke 7:9).”

#Retrospective: This post first published October 6, 2020.

12 thoughts on “Two Sides of a Prayer

  1. I’m struggling with this very thing at the moment. Knowing if I fully submit to God my path will be made clear. It will not be an easy path, and the right choices to make in every area of my whole life will not be immediately obvious, but I will be walking with God who always walks with me.

    Thank you for sharing this wisdom.

    1. It can be a challenge to follow God’s path, but He is faithful. I pray His wisdom will be evident to you, that He will guide you each step of the way. Thank you for sharing your journey. Blessings.

  2. When we surrender our hearts to God, we find His peace. He knows before we ask, and before we say a word, what is in our hearts. It is The Holy Spirit who intercedes for us. How blessed we are to know that God is ever ready to listen to us and understand us as no one else ever could. Our hearts are safe with Him.

  3. Submitting is never easy, humility is harder still! Yet unless we follow the hymn words and “surrender all” our prayers will be inefficient. Praise Almighty God for his Compassion towards us in all situations. This is a lovely devotional highlighting scriptural truth, a blessing for me today. God bless you CG.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. “Surrender all” is tough. It means surrendering my self interest for God’s interest. Indeed, praise God for His compassion. Blessings.

  4. Oh how I hate that moment of submission when I do not like what is happening to me or around me. But O how I love even more when His answer comes!

  5. I love this:
    “Submitting to God’s will shows we trust his wisdom, even if he chooses not to grant our request.”
    Thanks for sharing.

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