I've always known He has the ABILITY to answer my prayers - He can do whatever He wants, cuz He's big like that! But that doesn't mean He's gonna do things just because I want them. At Gethsemane, Jesus didn't want the Cross; but that Cross was the Father's will for Jesus, so He didn't take it away. My heart is obviously way less in tune with the Father's than Jesus' heart was - I mean, I'm a sinner! - so what's the chance my requests are gonna line up with His will very often?
It shames me to admit this, but I've always kinda had this thought in the back of my mind, always kinda doubted whether the Father really cared about my desires.
But then there was last week, counseling five girls at Laurel Lake. There was one prayer I prayed, a prayer I knew was selfish the moment I prayed it - not bad, just selfish - and I told God so. "God, I don't really want you to do that. Just change my attitude, please." To EVERY other request I made that week, God said yes!
1. Monday night my girls had trouble getting to sleep; I tried a few things, but nothing was working. I prayed for an idea, and one immediately popped into my head. "If you girls turn your words and electronics off, I'll buy you all a free canteen (snack)." Whaddaya know? It worked!
2. Tuesday morning, I had a hankering for a good rainstorm and asked God for it. I didn't really think He would do it - change the weather, "just for me"? Especially when a lot of people really, really dislike rain? But sure enough, Tuesday night it RAINED! And rained some more! :)
3. Tuesday night my girls had trouble getting to sleep again. I knew I didn't have enough on me to keep offering extra canteen, so I asked God for a new idea. Immediately, I had one! "I know y'all say you don't need to sleep, but I do need my sleep; and I can't really sleep until y'all do, so please do it for me!" I knew I had some very sweet girls, and they were nice enough to fall silent and still as soon as I asked in this way.
4. By the time I finished my Gospel-color-nail-polish devotional Tuesday night, I was confident that two of my girls needed Jesus. I started praying intensely for their souls, and for a clear Gospel presentation in the worship service. In Wednesday's worship, guess what the pastor talked about? My cabin also heard clear Gospel presentations in Wednesday's Bible study and Thursday morning's craft session. The Gospel was repeatedly presented in terms of things God did for us, as well as our response - to believe.
5. The pastor hadn't been doing a song after his message, but after Wednesday night's Gospel message I felt I was supposed to pray for him to do a song and let his message have time to really sink in before the kids ran outside to snack at canteen and play whatever their late-night activity was. I prayed that way; and after the message, he did a song!
6. The week's theme was "Today I Will," and there was a banner we were supposed to have our girls write on. Thursday afternoon, my girls and I stopped by the banner to write. Both of the girls for whom I had been beseeching the Father wrote "Today I will believe" (separately). And I know I saw a distinct change in one.