A Sure_Fire Prayer for When All Else Fails
"The reason you don't have what you want is that you don't ask God for it. And even when you do ask, you don't get it because your whole aim is wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure."1
Have you ever had a problem, a bad habit, or a relational conflict that you couldn't overcome or resolve no matter how hard you tried, how much you sought help, and even how much you prayed?
I have. For years I struggled with a relational conflict that I did everything I could think of to resolve—including getting intensive counseling and praying relentlessly.
Finally in utter desperation I prayed, "God, I beg you to show me the truth of what I am still contributing to this situation I am in."
Almost overnight I got the answer. I saw my super codependency. I hadn't even heard of the word back then, but what I saw was that because I was trying to fix everybody else's problems, I was blind to my own! And here I thought I was being a good Christian! Wrong. I was being a needy person; that is, I needed to feel needed in order to feel loved and that, of course, isn't really love—or it is contaminated love at best—it's need.
Once I saw the truth of what I was contributing, I knew what I had to do to fix my problem. As Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free."2 I also realized that the only person's problems I could fix were my own!
Why did it take so long to get my earlier prayers answered? It was because I'd been praying the wrong prayer. I'd been asking for deliverance from the symptoms (the external conflict) and not from the cause of my problem.
As James, in today's Scripture points out, many of our prayers aren't answered because our aim is wrong; that is, we pray with false motives for the wrong thing.
True, we need to treat our symptoms, but the reality is God wants to heal the root cause of our problems and make us whole, because if we don't deal with the root cause/s, we can easily exchange one symptom for another.
So now, whenever I have a conflict or a problem, I always ask God to face or confront me with the truth of what I am contributing to it. Only then do I ask him to show me the truth of what others are contributing, and the truth or reality of the overall situation. The important thing always is to first face the truth about myself.
I have found whenever I pray for truth and mean it, God always answers. It is one of the most effective prayers I have ever prayed. It has changed my life. Often I don't want to face the truth about myself because I am too afraid, so I also pray, "God I am willing to be made willing to face the truth about me no matter how much it might hurt."
Not that it's easy, but praying for truth is a sure-fire way to resolve most conflicts—or at least our part in them.
And when it comes to relationship conflicts, if two people will genuinely own up to their unresolved personal issues and problems (which are often at the root of many, if not most, conflicts), and each ask God to show them what they are contributing, I believe they will be able to resolve most conflicts. Each person needs to mean it with all their heart, otherwise it won't work.
As God's Word also says, "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."3
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me in all my prayers to be honest with myself and honest with you, knowing that when I call on you in truth, you will always hear and answer my prayers. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. James 4:2-3 (TLB)(NLT).
2. John 8:32.
3. Psalm 145:18.