There’s an Islamic quote that I appreciate as a Christian, it reads: “When the world pushes you to your knees, you’re in the perfect position to pray.”
Often times when we feel down, defeated, upset, disappointed, or cornered, we do not always turn to God and pray first in response. Whether figurative or hypothetical is irrelevant—if and when the world has incapacitated us, the best thing we could do is pray. Prayer is not only submission to Jesus, it is an act of surrendering our feeble attempts to handle what was never ours to handle in the first place. What do I mean by this? Let me explain.
THE TRUTHS ABOUT FAILURE
If our boss fires us, we could thank God for closing the wrong door and opening the right door of opportunity elsewhere. If our girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with us, we could thank God (after mourning the loss/change in life, if needed of course) for giving us the wisdom that that person wasn’t the right partner for us; or we may even feel God calling us to continue pursuing that person with patience, passion, and love. God has the answer for every question we ask before we’ve even processed the thought which leads to our question. He already knows. Failures are a way out of continuing to make the choices that take us away from the plan God has for us.
Mistakes we make are blessings in disguise because they allow God to speak through the cracks of what we may believe is our own genius. We can be absent-minded, and so we can find ourselves mistakenly taking for granted how God works behind the scenes of life; the Devil himself needs permission to challenge or test any of us, and that permission comes from God. God has a plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11), and when we fail, God allows us to see the exit sign so that we may choose to leave and move towards the correct entrance he has planned for us elsewhere. Concordantly, when we see the exit as some kind of banishing, we miss the point: Failure does not signify defeat—failure divulges the road to the next success. To learn, one must make mistakes. Sometimes to master a skill one must fail multiple times, and if our failures take us to our knees, then we pray. But we don’t just pray some mechanical prayer lacking the faith of a mustard seed—we pray with meaning, precision, and intention. Most of all, we pray with power and confidence in a God capable of all things, knowing He has our best intentions at heart.
WHAT WE CAN PRAY FOR
How will we know what to pray? Well, we just covered that there’s something we failed at doing, or failed to do well, right? So we pray for the knowledge needed to know how we went wrong, the humility to admit our error to ourselves and to do better when we try again (because we will be trying again). Pray for the tenacity to keep going and the strength to move forward (confidence) without looking back (shame). Pray we would be more receptive to the way God motivates us with His love and that He would help us not to search for worldly validation or strength and instead to remind us how His power conquers all, and to remember His power is aimed for our good. We then give a shout of praise that God is a good God who wants us to succeed, to heal, and who loves us so much as to see us through to victory, moving forward with bold confidence. And we always close by declaring the prayer request in Jesus’s name! The name above all names—Amen!
Now get off your knees, close the door to the flood of thoughts God is lovingly telling you you don’t need, and move on. Try again, and keep trying whether or not you are back on your knees, and if you’re back on your knees you pray again; if you’re not, you give a shout of praise to thank Him that you’re not! God is always good! He always has our back! He always wants what is best for us. God allows pain when He knows it will mold us into a stronger version of ourselves, even if we can’t see how that could be yet. It isn’t our job to understand what He’s planning or to judge the way He executes justice based on our own discernment—our job is obedience, that we would glorify His name with thanks, praise, and the pursuit of a deeper, stronger relationship with Him through Jesus. The rest falls into place when we seek the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 6:33).
FINDING COMFORT IN JESUS
Jesus is all we need, and when we can recognize the world for what it is when we’re on our knees—that is, when we can see how the world is corrupted and that it is understandable how we get knocked down when we face such a strong worldly (and spiritual!) opposition—prayer will become more natural. The words of our prayer will start flowing because our hearts will be in the right place and we will believe 100% that God is able. He IS able and there’s nothing and no one that can stop God from loving us and giving us His goodness through His love for us (Roman 8:38-39). Believe this, embrace it, praise Him for it and move forward. Keep your eyes on the Lord and thank Him for being the Father God that He is. He loves you more than you could imagine! Live off of the strength of this truth and be uplifted today, readers, in Jesus’s name!!
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