I am so glad that God will overrule my prayers at times, because I have prayed for things fervently, believing they were the will of God, and they were flat-out wrong. I am so thankful that God said no to those prayers.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, as the cross was getting closer, Jesus prayed to the Father.
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:41-42)
Yet I have actually heard some people say, “Never pray, ‘Not my will, but Yours be done.’ That is a lack of faith.” Some have even said, “What you should really pray is, ‘Not Your will, but mine be done.’”
Let’s just say that I don’t want to be standing too close to those people when lightning strikes, because they have things turned around.
Thy will be done.
Never be afraid to pray, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” By saying that, you are simply saying, “Lord, I don’t know all the facts. I don’t know everything there is to know. My knowledge is limited. My experience is limited. So if what I am praying is outside of Your will for any reason, please graciously overrule it.” You won’t always understand how you should pray. What it comes down to is telling God that you want His will more than your own.
I know this is hard at times. Sometimes you don’t understand why God doesn’t give you what you ask for. When you’re young and single, you may see a handsome guy or beautiful girl and just know that person is the one for you. But as the lyrics to a country song say, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.”
As time passes, you will look back with 20/20 hindsight, and you will say, “Thank God He did not answer my prayers,” or “Thank God He answered my prayers,” whichever the case may be.
Finally…remember the words of Jesus: “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern” (Matthew 6:32-33, NLT)