“Ask and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.”-Matthew 7:7 KJV
I know it’s the end of year: a time where people start determining their new year’s resolutions or set goals they hope to accomplish. People reflect on the highs and lows of the current year, then decide how different the next one should be, what they should do better, or what they should consider changing about their lives. With the way this year has been, a lot are looking forward to putting this year behind them and going forward with hope, expectation, and faith that things will be tremendously better than the last. However, the song “I’m Gonna Be Ready” by Yolanda Adams reminds me of the warning “Be careful what you pray for.” The notion being that whatever you pray for is just what you may get, but I wondered how many prayers or goals we set in life without considering the totality of that desire. When we go to God for a promotion, a spouse, a new house, or direction, we may not consider the how, when, or what it’s going to take for that desire to transpire. Sometimes we may have no idea what we’ll have to go through for us to attain that goal.
Of course, I’m not trying to deter you from going after what you want, and I definitely am not trying to discourage you from going to God about it. I just want you to consider ‘are you ready for what you’re praying for?’ It’s important to be prepared for what it is that you’re praying for, that whatever it is may not come when you want it to or how you want it to. Therefore, it’s imperative to add to that prayer, asking God to give strength, guidance, and anything else needed for you to receive what He has for you. For instance, if you’re seeking a new job, it may require having a certain level of education, experience, and credentials to obtain it; therefore, it will take time, sacrifice, and wisdom to get to that point. Or maybe you’re desiring to be married. To get from a point of meeting a stranger to choosing to spend the rest of your life with that person is going to take time, work, and spiritual discernment to be sure that who you’re committing yourself to is meant for you—not to mention the drastic change it will be to go from singleness to married life. Simply asking for the blessing isn’t enough to receive it, but you will have to go through something to attain it. The journey is not going to be easy, but the great thing about it is that God will equip you with what you need to reach that point. The testimony that you will get to share about how God answered your prayers, how the experience changed you, and how appreciative you are to reach that milestone will make everything worth.
So, as you contemplate what you aspire for the year 2021, I implore you to add to that prayer list, to think about what it’s going to take to reach those goals, and ask God to provide everything needed to reach them—the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual tenacity needed to get there. While Matthew 7:7 presents the idea of whatever we desire only requiring we ask or go after it, it’s important to realize that there’s more to it–that we need to be prepared to receive and keep the blessings we’re seeking. Even in the last week of this year, I am thankful for what God has done, is doing, and will do in the years ahead. He’s blown my mind in ways I didn’t expect, but I anticipate the future, believing that 2021 will be better, that the long-time prayers will be answered, that God will do the miraculous, and that “I’m gonna be ready” for all He has for me. Lastly, I pray you’ve enjoyed this holiday season and have a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. 😊
(Just a short poem to reiterate the idea of being prepared for what we pray for.)
Lord, I kneel in prayer, petitioning you for my heart’s desire.
But do I know what it requires?
No matter what it takes, help me to reach that place—to attain all You have for me.
I know it won’t be easy: there will be things I won’t be pleased with,
But anything worth having is worth each test that may come my way.
I just know that I can’t do this on my own:
Not in my strength, mentality, my flesh.
I need Your spirit and guidance to see me through.
So, I’m asking You to touch me: prepare my mind and heart.
I understand that You are in control, and You already know all things.
The past, present, and future. You know what’s best for me: what I can withstand
And what I’m not ready for yet.
So, I need You to lead me to where I need to be.
I need You to prepare me on every level:
The mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.
I admit my faults, but I choose to wait on You—knowing that You’ll see me through.
When those prayers are answered and after all the tests,
I’ll testify about how it was nobody but You who got me through it.
I’m determined to pass every test.
I’ll be ready for whatever it is,
As long as You strengthen me, I can do all things.
As long as You prepare me for the blessings.