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It takes humility to pray. It puts us in a position where we don’t know all the things that need to be taken into account, where we’re part of a bigger story, a bigger plan involving countless numbers of people. One of Jesus’ teachings on prayer is especially confusing, seemingly irrational…the part where Jesus says, “Have faith in God…whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Some people teach that you just have to take this on face value; but what about all those competing contradictory prayers? If you pray for the price of oil to go up, what about all those praying for it to decline? Even in “all things are possible”-land you can’t (literally) have both outcomes. One group of pray-ers are bound to be disappointed. Knowing this, how can anyone pray with the confidence Jesus recommends…no, commands, in that statement? How is it possible to see any value in prayer other than the purely psychological?
The point here is…walking into the presence of your Father in Heaven, there’s no way you will be able to know all the details and considerations every outcome requires – just as a child asking for a present can’t always understand what’s involved in getting it for Christmas. But what God wants you to know and be absolutely certain of is: “I’m on it…” “I’ll take care of it.” The thing that you desire, truly desire, will be yours no matter what the cost.
Because we know that not every child who really “wants a pony” really wants all the work and responsibility that comes with keeping a real live horse; perhaps riding lessons will do until they’re older. But your Heavenly Father, with limitless resources, will bring about the very essence of what you want, provided you really want it, and are willing to trust Him for it… I think that’s the point.