The Prayer That Never Fails

I’ve been revisiting the wonderful world of Jan Karon and Mitford lately. Listening to the books in my car makes the commute much more bearable, especially on afternoons when the traffic is more annoying than usual.

The setting is an aging Episcopal priest who presides over a small congregation in a tiny village named Mitford. The books aren’t groundbreaking by any means, but they have a kind of charm in the way they depict small town life amidst a plethora of characters who seem like people you might have known growing up.

The main character, Father Tim, always refers to “the prayer that never fails” when difficult circumstances arise. That prayer in a nutshell is “Thy will be done.”

A prayer for God’s will to prevail is one that God can’t help but honor. It’s saying that I’m surrendering any idea or illusion of control that I might have had and surrendering the outcome completely to God. It’s saying that God can handle my problems better than I can and that He sees a bigger picture than I can see and thus has a better future in mind than I could ask for or even imagine.

That prayer can never fail. I suppose that no prayer ever truly fails, but sometimes when we pray for our outcome, we often fail to appreciate or see what God is doing when it doesn’t line up with our expectations. The failure is that we pray too small and with too much tunnel vision and don’t take into consideration God’s bigger plan not just for us but for the whole world.

So the next time you feel stuck or hopeless or helpless, it never hurts to pray that God’s will be done. You can never go wrong by asking God to have His way. It’s when God gets the most glory and you get the most blessing.

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