Monday, January 3: Isaiah 46:9-11
Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My plan will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;
Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of My purpose from a distant country.
Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, I will certainly do it.
Can prayer change God’s will?
Have you ever seen a child plan out what they’re going to do for a day? Their ideas can span from an all-day TV marathon to an adventurous road trip to see the grandparents. Regardless, one thing that is often missing from their plans is what needs to get done. Their plans rarely include buying groceries or fixing things around the house, and yet the child still sees their plans as most important.
Sometimes, when we come to God in prayer, we falsely assume we know the whole picture. We believe we know what’s best for our day; we’ve covered all the bases in our plans. So, we pray along these lines, asking God to accommodate our requests. We quickly forget that these requests are just that: requests. Prayer aligns our heart with the Father, not the other way around. Prayer reminds us of our place before the God of the universe: we are submitted to Him, regardless of what His answer to our prayers might be.
In a world that tells us to live based off how we feel, this concept can be hard to grasp. If my prayer can’t change God’s mind or won’t always turn out how I want, what is the point of praying? The point is this: God is at the center of the universe, not us. Through Isaiah, God reminded His people that His plans would be established. What He declared would certainly come to pass. This is joyful and hopeful because it is His good and perfect pleasure that will be accomplished.
So, when we pray from a heart submitted to God, we realize we are making requests, not demands. Prayer is an opportunity to interact and talk to the God of the universe. As we present our requests to Him, Isaiah pointed out that we have hope that His nature and will have been established since the very beginning. He has always been at work, upholding and restoring the life of His creation. We can trust Him.
- What would it look like to pray from a heart submitted to God?
- Has God ever changed your mind about something as you prayed? What was that like?
- Pray and ask God to help you come to Him with a submitted heart, even when you want your way over His plan.