Over the last week or so, I’ve come to believe that if you’re doing it right, you’ll eventually find yourself in prayer for something which you never thought you’d pray. You’ll pray for things like broken relationships, hardship, destitution, and for people you genuinely love. At least that’s where I’ve found myself, but I feel a strange peace because though on the surface I’m praying that “bad” things happen, I know that ultimately I am praying for God to use these circumstances to bring about a greater good.
A prayer for bad things
I’m butchering this, but in “The Problem with Pain” by C.S. Lewis, the author refers to pain and tribulation as God’s megaphone. Obviously, this analogy has stuck with me, but because I think there’s a real truth to it. Oftentimes, God prefers to whisper to His children, preferring not to compete against the constantly rising din. However, if you are anything like me, hardheadedness gets in the way, and God decides our correction is worth taking a more drastic measure. He allows pain, so that the stubborn child turns around, and gives Him the proper attention once more. Because His loving correction is just that important. He doesn’t want to see His children hurting, you see.
Beneath the surface of prayer
Prayer is and was always intended to be the platform for the children to converse openly and honestly with the Father, and vice versa. Prayer is how we communicate, and since it’s with our Father, prayer should be nothing but the naked desires of our hearts. And so, I find myself praying for friends to reach a point where they are open to accepting the abundant love of the Father. Yes, I accept in this prayer that there will be an unfortunate series of circumstances and happenings to get them to this point, but I pray that they would both know this love that surpasses all knowledge and understanding. So, praying for bad things is a mere reality in applying the black and white of the Gospel to a shades-of-gray world. Feel free to disagree.
Prayer, honest prayer, will inevitably lead us to a place where we value souls and the overwhelming love of God more than we value happiness or comfort. It may sound cold and callous, but there is nothing (and I mean nothing) more important than a soul’s experiencing love and grace for eternity. Over time, our prayer, as I’ve seen has been the case with my own, aligns our heart with this fact and we embrace the tension of living this out in a flawed and broken world. It’s because this world is is filled with imperfection, applying the perfect love and truth of God is messy. It’s ugly, painful, and downright confusing. However, the results are beautiful as the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Because at the core, we are praying for perfection on earth. Pray away, friends.