My girlfriend and I were discussing the dynamics of praying for God’s direction in our lives, and the changes and growth happening in our lives. One thing she said about her prayer life is how God is changing how her approach to prayer, God is changing what she prays for and how she prays for it:
“They’re not my questions anymore.”
That resonates with my experience, because that’s where I feel God leads me most consistently: He doesn’t answer my prayer, He changes the whole framework from which I am asking. He recently did this for me when I was praying for some specific direction and it was one of those situations where the line between prayer and worry was getting real fuzzy. I feel that He gave me this instruction for how to pray:
“Speak things that are good and true, and start walking.”
In my experience, praying to God for direction doesn’t always yield the results I’m looking for. He often does not directly answer the questions I’m asking. Although that is the case, that disparity between my thoughts and God’s thoughts is where He typically meets me. I ask Him the questions that I want answered, but He deals with the questions that I really need answered. I seek the answers I want, but He gives me the answers I need. For example, I have a friend who was praying about whether or not he should pursue this particular girl. God did not say yes or no, but instead told him something like “Before you were born, I knew who you would marry.” That was not the answer my friend was looking for, but maybe it was the answer he needed. In my opinion, it was like God’s priority was to reassure my friend, “don’t worry, I’ve got you.”
Often, while I am looking for direct answers about circumstances, He is instructing and revealing things about character. I am seeking the exact shape of the finished house, but He insists on first building the foundation.