Much that perplexes us in our experience is the answer to our prayers. We do not know what we should pray for as we ought.
We pray for “patience”, and God sends those who tax us to the utmost, for “tribulation worketh patience”. We pray for “submission” and sufferings come our way, for ” we learn obedience by the things we suffer”. We pray for “unselfishness”, and God gives us opportunities to sacrifice ourselves by thinking on the things of others.
We pray for “strength” & “humility”, and someone torments us until we lie down in defeat. We ask God to “increase our faith”, and money takes wings, or someone is taken ill or a servant comes who is careless and untidy, or some hitherto unknown trial calls for an “increase of faith” along a line where we have not needed to exercise much faith before.–We pray for “gentleness” and someone is very harsh and irritable to us. We pray for “quiet” and every nerve is strung to the utmost tension. We pray for “love”, and God sends people to us who say things that lacerate the heart.——- The way to “peace” & “victory” is to accept every circumstance, every trial as coming straight from a loving Father’s Hand.
I prayed for strength, and then I lost awhile
All sense of nearness, human and divine
The love I leaned on failed and pierced my heart
The hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine
But while I swayed, weak, trembling and alone
The everlasting arms upheld my own.
I prayed for light, the sun went down in clouds
The moon was darkened by a misty doubt
The stars of Heaven were dimmed by earthly fears
And all my little candle flames burned out
But while I sat in shadow, wrapped in night
The face of God made all the darkness bright.
I prayed for peace, and dreamed of restful ease
A slumber drugged from pain, a hushed repose
Above my head the skies were black with storm
And fiercer grew the onslaught of my foes
But while the battle raged, and wild winds blew
I heard His voice and perfect peace I knew.
I thank You, Lord,You were too wise to heed
My feeble prayers, and answer as I sought
Since these rich gifts Your bounty has bestowed
Have brought me more than all I asked or thought
Giver of good, so answer each request
WITH YOUR OWN GIVING, BETER THAN MY BEST.
—————Annie Johnson Flint.