"And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation and its Government and give it all possible success and duration consistent with the ends of His providence."
--Conclusion of the Inaugural Address of John Adams
"...consistent with the ends of His providence." I take that to mean "within the will of God." Good for him! All too often, calls to God from those in leadership, or even from those of us who are 'regular folks,' seem to have a demanding tone: "Give me what I want, Lord," or "Grant us our wishes, Father," without ever acknowledging or even considering what He might want to accomplish for His kingdom.
This shouldn't be, but it's tough to avoid, isn't it? It can be a bit of a challenge to remember to 'tack on' the "Lord willing" part of the prayer, even in the little things, like "Oh, I'm running late, Lord. Please let me make that green light!" It can seem nearly impossible to relinquish the outcome to God in the big things, like "Father, my child is dying. Please restore her to health."
In desperate moments like that, it can seem pointless to ask for the healing of a loved one, if in the same breath we also say, "...or take her from us, if that's Your will." Why are we praying, then, if that's the way we put it? Isn't one or the other going to happen, anyway?
I believe that what God is looking for in our prayers is our submission. He certainly doesn't need instructions from us on how to resolve the issue, but He does want communion with us through prayer.
Our best example, as always, is Jesus. Knowing that He was expected to follow through with a very difficult assignment--His own arrest, flogging, and crucifixion--He was struggling with the idea of submitting, and understandably so. He knew He was man, but also God, and didn't have to allow any of those things to happen to Him! Picking up the Biblical narrative in Luke: Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:39-42, NIV
He had a quiet place to pray. Not a bad idea, with our busy days and crowded lives.
He did let God know what He would prefer to happen, and even expressed this desire first. So, it's okay to seek God's help with your needs.
Most importantly, He submitted.
When we pray during this year's National Day of Prayer, let's seek His will, not ours, and concentrate on submission.