Have you ever thanked someone, in advance, for something? You may have even used the abbreviation TIA. “Thanks in advance for your help with this!” The context is usually that you’ve asked someone for a favor and you know that this person is most likely going to come through, so, you are showing your appreciation for what they are going to do, before they even do it.
For the majority of this year I have been praying for God’s favor in a situation that is filled with uncertainty. I know, in my heart, how I want things to turn out. But, I have no idea if what I want aligns with what God wants. I have done everything within my power to assure that things will work out the way I am hoping they will—the rest of it is out of my hands.
So, I pray about it. Daily. Sometimes, hourly.
What I have found challenging is figuring outhowto pray. I could beg God like a kid in the candy aisle, “Pleeeeeeaaaasssseee give this to me, Daddy!” But that seems pretty immature and short-sighted. Or, I could pray with maturity and stoicism, “Father, yourwill not mine, I accept whatever outcome you allow.” While that is a mature and admirable way to pray, it is not an honest reflection of how I truly feel, and I think God wants my sincerity over my attempts at sounding holy.
I was having one of those “How-do-I-pray-about-this?” moments, when I asked God, “Lord, how do I pray about this?” That’s when the phrase “Thanks in advance” came to mind. And, that’s perfect, really. When I bring this situation to God, I can thank him in advance for hearing my prayers, for knowing the outcome, for wanting what is best for me, and for whatever the future holds, because His will and plans are perfect.
Are you struggling with the kind of situation that has stretched you and your faith thin? Have you also been left without even the words to pray? Try thanking God in advance for what he is going to do, remembering these words from Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And thepeace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”