This prayer of trust in God is not easy. I find that when I bring a burden, problem or concern to God, I have strings attached. I unconsciously want it answered my way, and usually as soon as possible. I want the outcome to be what I envisage to be God’s plan or will in a given situation. If things does not pan out that way, I get upset, frustrated, worried. But I am learning.
I am learning prayer from Mary, the mother of Jesus. She saw that the wedding at Cana was in trouble because the wine was running out (John 2). It was a big problem because hospitality was a big thing. It was hard for hosts to estimate the amount of food or wine needed because virtually everyone invited could invite anyone. What did Mary do? She told Jesus, “They are short on wine.” That’s all. She did not tell Jesus what he needed to do and how to do it. When I pray, I find myself telling God what to do as though I know the best way of solving various problems. Who has known the mind and ways of God to counsel and instruct him? Of course none of us tell God what to do – except unconsciously or unknowingly – in prayer. It cannot be called a prayer of trust in God then. It should be called a prayer to control or use God.
This insight from Mary’s example has been an impetus for me to learn to pray by just letting God know there is a problem and telling him I don’t know what to do and I trust Him with it. If he does whisper, or bring to my mind something I could do about the matter, I will just do it, no matter how irrelevant or inadequate the action he drops in my mind may seem. Pouring hundreds of litres of water into stone jars seemed totally inadequate and irrelevant to the shortage of wine in the wedding, but the servants did as they were told and lo, and behold, God was able to do exceeding beyond all that Mary could ask or imagine, and all the glory goes to him.
When I do the prayer of trust in God it liberates me from this grasping tendency to want to maintain control over events and peoples future, over wanting to look good, over my lust for success as I define it, over greed and selfishness. I enter a realm of peace, contentment, and abandon. I welcome a willingness to let God be God, for I acknowledge that I am not.