It was a really hot summer, the kind we only get in Ireland every few years. Our kids were mad about making "iced-lols" - fruit drinks poured into little moulds, with sticks stuck into them and left in the fridge till they're frozen. But our old fridge had finally packed up, and couldn't be repaired.
The kids knew well that we simply could not afford a fridge. But they were still panting for iced-lols. So one of them, unable to contain his frustration any longer, said, "Mum, it's about time you prayed for a new fridge!" He was at an awkward and rebellious stage, but she thought, "This time, he is right!" And she prayed that we would get a fridge before the week was out.
The next Wednesday, at our church prayer meeting, someone approached her and said, "Do you know anyone who could use a second-hand fridge?" Well, we did! And that old fridge produced many ice-lols, and served us for quite a few years. More importantly, it showed our son, once more, that God really does hear and answer our prayers.
But why that prayer, at that particular time? Why not just pray that we would become rich, so that we would never have to worry about things like fridges, ever again?
Because our purpose in life is not about fridges or becoming rich or even about ice-lols. It is to learn to know and love the Lord, and to help others to know, love and trust Him, too.
If we pray selfish prayers, like "make me rich, beautiful, famous and successful," it could be the worst thing that ever happened to us, if God answered them. It could make us more mean, proud and selfish than we are already. And it could help to make us more fit for hell, than for heaven.
Jesus, when He was on earth, taught us how we ought to pray. "Our Father... Your kingdom come, Your will be done." He showed us that God is wise, good, and all-powerful. We should not try to tell Him what He ought to do - but ask Him to show us what He wants us to do, and then to help us, by His power, so that we may do it.
We ought to ask Him to forgive us for our sins, and to lead us away from temptations, whether inside or outside of ourselves, so that we do not keep falling into sin again. And we ought to let go of all anger, hatred, and bitterness, as we make up our minds to forgive other people who may have wronged or hurt us, just as we need Him to forgive us for all the times we have disappointed, disobeyed, and wronged and hurt Him.
Jesus Himself prayed, "Father... not My will, but Yours be done." And "Father... forgive them, because they don't know what they are doing." The people who crucified Him physically, and the rest of us who have done it in our hearts by our sins, need His forgiveness. And this should be our first and greatest prayer.
Then, we should pray for God to make our hearts like His—unselfish, pure, and full of love. And then, that others would experience the same blessing. This is much more than fridges and millions of euros. It is even more than health, and many of the things that we may think we need to make us happy. But if we seek and pray, first of all, that God's will shall be done in our lives, and in the lives of others, God will also answer prayers for many things - like fridges and healings - when He sees that they are necessary to help these other, most important things to happen.
"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well," (Matthew 6:33). These are His words, and He means them! Yes! - God really does answer our prayers, when we begin to pray the way He wants us to!
Article copied, with permission, from the 4you.ie web site.