We had a long drive back from a trip today and I was thinking about the difference between praying 'to' and praying 'with' God and how I want to pray 'with' God for people and situations.
When someone is in a crisis and they ask you to pray they give you the details but they also often give you a result that they desire also. Often we see some of the details of what is happening with people or situations but what is the result that is really desirable?
When we are praying 'to' God only we are asking for the result we desire but when we pray 'with' God it is shared. There is a walk together that is happening where we are side by side and He is leading.
I want that... but am I willing to give up what I want to get it. Also do I know or have an inkling of what God wants or thinks?
"But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." - 2 Peter 3:8-9 ESV
Two things leap out of this verse to me. God desires that no one would perish and that all would turn to Him and away from whatever is occupying the attention that only He should have.
Someone may say pray for my business, pray for my business partner or pray for my health. We want to pray with them for their desired result but if our prayer is just for what they want then are we praying to God or with God?
We can pray a prayer something like this, 'Prosper their business in your time Lord but let that business draw them close to You. Keep them alive and cause them to live in the midst of the details.'
Jesus prayed with His Father and when He paused to lay hands on a person for healing it was just an extension of that life of communion.
Wow. That's living.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind." - James 1:5-6 ESV
Let's face it. None of us really knows all the details but God may just fill in some of the gaps (on a need to know basis) if we are praying with Him and asking for wisdom then even if we have great gaps God is moving in the midst and answering because we are keeping pace with His mind.