Praying for the Unknowns
By Dawn Wilson -
Since we don’t know the future, we might say that many of the things we pray about are “unknowns.” God knows the outcome; we don’t.
I love praying with my granddaughters. One of my favorite prayers is about their future. “If you’re going to get married someday,” I tell them, “then your husband is growing up somewhere in the world.” Megan, my oldest granddaughter, seemed intrigued by this notion, that unknown little boys can be affected by our prayers. I remind her that the boys are not unknown to God, and He cares about them.
Late one night, as I tucked two of the girls into bed, my mind was distracted by things I needed to get done before bedtime. I forgot to pray with the girls. As I turned to leave the bedroom, Jenna sat up and called out, “Grammy! Aren’t we going to pray for our husbands somewhere in the world?” That was the first time I realized that our little prayer ritual had deep meaning for the girls.
Another time, on the way to the mall, I chatted with the granddaughter I’ve dubbed “Missy Pink Pink.” We talked about school, ballet class and an outing she took with her other grandma; but I laughed hard as she suddenly blurted out, “Grammy, my husband is in Antarctica!”
Months later, Missy Pink Pink told me her husband now lives in Hawaii. Perhaps she figures she’ll have a better opportunity to meet him there. I’d love to help her find him, maybe on the balmy shores of Kauai.
Praying about the unknowns of life, including a “somewhere in the world” husband, shouldn’t be unusual for God’s children. Eternity is deeply planted in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and most of our lives are pinned to the future. We can pray about our future because we believe God, who is our life (Colossians 3:4), is already there. We need God and what He can do in our lives, and we pray believing that He answers our prayers (Matthew 7:7).
God wants our inner joy to be full both now and in the future, and Jesus told us simply to “ask” for what we need (John 16:24). He wants to give us the desires of our heart, and He transforms us so that we delight in Him and desire what He wants for us (Psalm 37:4)—those things that align with the Word of God and the truth that Christ is in us.
“You may not get married,” I told my granddaughters. “Maybe that’s not what God has for you. But if His plans include marriage, then your Someday Husband needs our prayers. We can pray he will keep his heart pure. We can pray that he will learn how to lead a home. We can pray for lots of things!”
What are your greatest “unknowns” today? Are you struggling with finances, and not sure what the future holds? Do you have a prodigal child, and you fear what’s ahead? Is your marriage falling apart? Is your health failing?
Initiate an intimate conversation with God and see what He will do. Pray with confident faith, believing God will answer. The answer may not come in ways you expect or, in the process, God may change your desires; but we’ll never move forward in our prayer journey with the Lord until we take those first faith-filled steps into the unknown.