By: Allie Joy Hudson
3 min. read
A few weeks ago, I was sharing with a close friend of mine about some challenges that my husband and I had been going through. I was frustrated about the same few things that kept coming up and I confessed to her that I was discouraged.
My friend asked me a question that struck me: “Have you prayed about those things specifically?” It was a simple question. I stopped and thought for a second, and then I realized aloud, “No, I really haven’t.”
I regularly pray over my marriage, my husband, and myself, but I hadn’t taken my specific struggles and frustrations before God. Why? I took some time to think this through, and I realized that this lack of specific prayer came from (1) of a lack of entrusting things to the Lord and (2) of not praying expectantly.
Maybe you tend to wrestle with these same things in your prayer life. But once we better understand and work through these struggles, we can see a power and a thriving that only God can bring about. Let’s look into this now.
How often do you try to fix or handle things on your own? I do this a lot. It’s one of my flesh’s default modes that I have to constantly acknowledge, repent of, and ask for God’s help in. I’m reminded of the simple yet profound challenge of Proverbs 3:5 to “lean not on your own understanding.” It’s harder than it sounds.
Many times, I’m aware of problems and struggles that I’m facing. I want them to be fixed, so I try to tackle them head on. I try to operate out of my own strength to analyze and problem-solve and discuss and re-evaluate over and over again. But this only leaves me tired, frustrated, and holding onto unsolved issues.
Maybe this is the case for you – whether it’s in your marriage, your future marriage, a relationship, a friendship, or walking towards sexual integrity. I challenge you, as I challenge myself, take things specifically to God in prayer. Ask Him for help with specific needs. This could be asking for help in the way you talk to your spouse, for God to help you to surround yourself with godly friends, for help with controlling what your eyes linger on, and so on.
There is so much value in acknowledging these smaller, even mundane, needs and bringing them before God. “…let your requests be made known to God,” Paul tells us. As we ask Jesus for His strength and His help, He will provide and meet our needs in ways we couldn’t have imagined.
In addition to praying for things specifically, let’s pray for things expectantly. I sometimes fall into asking God for things without really thinking they’ll happen. It’s not that I don’t believe He has the power to answer what I’m praying about. But I often don’t take the time to stop and think that I get to petition Jesus to answer the things I’m bringing before Him with the active expectation that He will move.
God delights in us. We’re His children, His people whom He dearly loves. So, when you ask Him for help, strength, purity, integrity, or guidance, ask knowing that He sees you, He knows your need, He loves when you bring your needs before Him, and He will provide for you in His perfect timing and way.
Sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we might have hoped, but truly, His answer is always better than ours. God is sovereign and so intentional. He masterfully weaves all parts of His plan together, and He doesn’t waste anything.
Pray specifically for your needs, and ask God to strengthen your faith to wait on Him and to pray expectantly. As He does answer your prayers, thank Him, and take note so that answered prayers will rack up and spur you on in your faith.
Our Need for Jesus
I’m thankful for my friend’s question to me, not only because it was a necessary reminder, but because it helped me to get to the root of some of my thoughts and tendencies regarding prayer. As you strive to honor God with your sexual integrity, bring specific things before Him. Ask Him for help.
As we go to God with our needs and struggles, this helps us to get a better grasp on the gravity of our need for Him. We need Jesus desperately. He gives us strength, goodness, power, and life. Run to Him in prayer as you recognize your need day by day. He is always with us, and He is so faithful to hear us when we call.
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Allie Joy Hudson is first and foremost a daughter of the King. She has worked with Proven for three years and serves as the Content Manager. Allie graduated from Liberty University with a B.A. in English and minors in Spanish and Psychology. She completed her Senior Honors Thesis on the presentation of postmodern sexuality in short fiction. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the viola, running, singing, and photography. Allie is passionate about her ever-growing C.S. Lewis collection, cultivating relationships, and proclaiming truth in the twisted arena of postmodern sexuality. Allie lives in Pennsylvania and is overjoyed to be married to the love of her life.