Today’s Scripture: And behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew¬†8:2-3

Prayer-though it is such a powerful tool, we tend to tell God what to do rather than ask. We come to God with our requests, and instead of trusting Him to do what’s best, we blame Him when our desires are left unmet. Prayer is not meant to be a way for us to control God, but rather, a way of recognizing God’s control. We are asking Him to work in a certain situation on our behalf or on the behalf of others.

We need to ask in faith that He will hear our prayers, but also recognize that if He doesn’t answer according to our will, He has a reason and that He is still good in denying our request. If we look at Christ’s prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane, we will see Him pour out His soul to the Father. As He looked to the cross and taking the sin of the world, He asked His Father to take that cup from Him. Though He sought another way, He submitted and was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians¬†2:8). We need to be like Christ when we pray. Though we ask for God to answer a particular way, we must be willing to accept His will even if it is not what we had desired.

When we come to the Lord in prayer, we need to come in thanksgiving and worship to Him. Like the leper in Matthew 8, we need to recognize that God is able. It is not a question of whether or not He is able, but whether or not He will. The leper worshiped Christ, not because he knew Christ would heal him, but because Christ was worthy. We have no right to demand Christ to act as we wish. Let’s make sure we remember to ask if He wilt.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder