Should You Pray the Trial Away?
It’s easy to pray the trial away. It’s hard to ask the Lord to accomplish what He would like through it. And though, the former is a God glorifying prayer that we can and should pray to the great physician who loves us and cares for our most basic needs (Matt. 10:29), the latter brings Him great glory as well and helps prepare us for the day we see Him face to face where instantly trials will be a thing of the past.
That is a sentence that is breathtaking. The sovereign creator of the universe can hear you when you cry out to Him (Psalm 145:19). Tiny miniscule sinful ants, constantly rebelling against Him and going after idols, are being listened to by the high and lofty Creator of all. Not only does He hear, but when we pray according to His will, he grants us the desires of our heart (1 John 5:14).
This thought should not only overwhelm us but also cause us to think twice about what we pray for.
At times Christians can be careless with their prayer life. We can forget very easily that we are to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). Many times, we forget to pray and remember only when a trial comes our way.
When that trial arrives, many times we limit ourselves to praying the trial away. But if we look at scripture, we sometimes see Christians pray for something else entirely.
In Acts 4 we see something truly astonishing.
Peter and the apostles have just had their lives threatened (Acts 4:21). They are told to stop preaching the Gospel or they will be punished. They are practically told to stop preaching or else they will be killed. They go home and pray. And we get to see how the apostles prayed amid threats on their lives.
Many Christians in this situation, would probably ask the Lord to take away their trial. “Lord please let us preach without being persecuted”. “Lord please keep us safe from this threat”. “Lord please help us keep our heads!”.
But there is one major problem with threatening Peter’s life. That is that Jesus has already told him that he will be crucified! How silly would it be of Peter to go home and pray the trial away? Jesus promised him that he will die on a cross (John 21:18). Jesus promised him that the trial would not go away. Instead, Peter and the apostles pray for the most sensible thing in this case.
They pray for boldness (Acts 4:29).
Jesus already promised them trials. He already promised them that they will be treated like he was treated (John 15:20). He promised hardship on earth and great blessing in heaven (Matt. 5:10-12). So, asking him to change his promise would be a waste of a prayer!