Prayer that brings results

The Bible tells us to seek God and His blessings. Jesus made this unquestion-ably clear when he said, ''Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.'' n1

But what happens when we ask God wholeheartedly for something and we don't get it? What's wrong with our prayer when we trust God totally and nothing changes? Perhaps the fault lies in what we are asking for and in the motive behind our asking. There's a good lesson to be learned here. The author of James wrote, ''Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.'' n2

n1 Matthew 7:7.

n2 James 4:3.

The need, then, is to ask God, not for what we want, but for what He wills. What we want may not always be right for us to have. But what God wills for us is always right because He is perfect Principle and infinite Love. The humble desire to obey God always results in a blessing. Actually, we don't even have to tell God what we want. Christ Jesus said, ''Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.'' n3

n3 Matthew 6:8.

Jesus didn't ask for himself. He lived to fulfill God's plan for him, and this involved struggles. One of the most trying was the dark night in the Garden of Gethsemane. His human struggle and spiritual victory are a source of inspiration for every Christian. He prayed, ''O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.'' n4 His submission to God's will of eternal life and endless love brought Jesus everlasting glory, and hope for all humanity.

n4 Matthew 26:39.

We always have the choice to turn from what we want to what God wills for us. And there is never any need to be afraid. God is infinite Love. Divine Love never lets us down. Love never harms us. Almighty God, the creator and ruler of the universe, never forgets or abandons His child. Each one of us is tenderly enfolded in His infinite mercy. Whether the need is for guidance, or for moral strength, or for physical healing, we will not be disappointed when we sincerely and honestly turn to God for showers of His goodness.

At one time I was in desperate need of employment. I had just returned home from the military service, and my specific training could not be used in civilian life. After finding only temporary and unsatis-factory part-time jobs, I turned to God wholeheartedly. I sincerely asked Him for guidance. In prayer that night I saw that God has a place and plan for every one of His children. No exceptions. That included me.

Before the evening was over I received an offer that provided work the next day. My immediate need was met. Within the next week or so I had several solid job offers. As I sorted out each prospective job, I continued with the same prayer: ''Father, what do you want me to do?'' It became clear which ones I should refuse and which job I should accept. And the blessings have continued ever since.

There is no disappointment or frustration in the heart that seeks God's will. Human will is easily blocked because it's shortsighted and limited. But God's goodness and possibilities are unlimited and always satisfying.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''God is not influenced by man. The 'divine ear' is not an auditory nerve. It is the all-hearing and all-knowing Mind, to whom each need of man is always known and by whom it will be supplied.'' n5

n5 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 7.

We can expect only good from the prayer that seeks God's will, because His love for every one of us is infinite. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The will of the Lord be done. Acts 21:14

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