By Brooke Holt
“Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.” The Collect, Proper 11, Book of Common Prayer
Have you ever made plans for the Lord? Please know I ask this question without any judgement. I am the queen of devising a plan and then asking the Lord to make it happen. As you can imagine, the Lord rarely works according to my plans. While God’s seeming deviation from my ways often frustrates me, I ultimately end up thanking him. With age and wisdom comes the understanding that God’s ways truly are above my ways.
Today’s Collect recognizes this truth. Beginning by acknowledging God is the fountain of all wisdom. We then pray God would have compassion on us for we do not even know how to pray for what we truly need. We pray with temporal sight while the Lord sees from the perspective of eternity. Thus, we declare we are often blind to the ways of God and ignorant of what is best, so we surrender our wills and ways and look to the Lord to guide and provide.
This prayer reminds me of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). Just prior to this section in Ephesians, Paul wrote about God’s vast love for his people. He prayed each person could know and receive that love of God for Paul knew that then they truly could trust and surrender.
The prayer of today's Collect reminds you that God sees what you cannot see and knows what you cannot understand. He has a plan for you – a good plan. You can trust him, because he loves you infinitely more than you can fathom. His way may not be your way, but you can rest assured his way is the best way.
The Lord invites you to bring your plans before him, but then he asks you to leave them there. Open your hands to release your grip and then to receive all that he has for you. You will never be able to do this without understanding his perfect love for you as well as his perfect wisdom. God is: omniscient meaning he knows everything, omnipotent meaning he has all power, and omnipresent which means he is always everywhere. Because of his sovereign nature, he is worthy of your trust and obedience.
Yes, God is beyond your comprehension, but you can rest in the truth he is good, he loves you, he is for you, and he is with you for eternity.
Are you currently making plans for God? Spend some time in prayer today opening your hands to release and receive. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Our honest prayer before God is evidence that we understand the ways He loves, cherishes, sees, and hears us. Through prayer, we can acknowledge with Hagar, “You are the living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:14). When we pray, we are affirming the same. Why do we often hide from this privilege? Why do we avoid God, the One who sees us as we are and stands ready to provide and answer us in his holy, timely way? In this 8-week study on the prayers of Job, Ruth, Hannah, and David, grow your prayer life by facing your honest need and bringing your whole self before God. Acknowledging God as the One who guides your path can change your heart. It can take you past fear and into faith, strength, and hope. Learn more about Honest Prayer.
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