I Pray What I Know; He Gives What I Need
It was two-thirty in the morning, and I knew God wanted to speak to me. Has that ever happened to you? Maybe those late nights and early mornings are the quiet times when we will fully give Him our attention.
So I grabbed my journal and started listening. As a songwriter, I depend on my journal and urge others to use journaling in the creative process and while praying. It’s a great tool in our two-way conversations with the Father. And as often happens, I didn’t realize the full meaning of what I’d written at the time:
I prayed for relief; He gave peace
I prayed for resolution; He gave patience
I prayed for rescue; He gave strength
I prayed for understanding; He gave faithfulness
I prayed for healing; He gave community
I prayed for victory; He gave promise
I prayed for answers; He gave love
I prayed for redemption; He gave heaven
I pray what I know; He gives what I need
Not all prayers are answered the way we hope, with quick, pain-free solutions. I don’t believe I’ve ever asked God to keep me in the valley, but the times I’ve spent there have grown me spiritually in greater ways than anything. And those valley moments have birthed songs that have the weight and truth of experience.
Worship songs, like no others, require sacrifice, along with honesty, love, and discipline. Not all songs are written from mountaintop experiences. So don’t despise the valley; learn to press in, listen, and wait on God.
And remember that your prayers, like your songs, don’t need to be perfect. As beloved children, we can come boldly to Him. He hears us and has the power to do anything. But we rarely know His ways, because they are higher than ours. And we don’t always know His will, because it’s beyond our understanding. So the answers we receive and the timeline in which we receive them may not be what we’d imagined.
The day after my “wee hours of the morning” conversation, while reading back through what I had journaled, I realized that it’s okay to pray from what we know—because all we really need to know is Him. God truly and deeply knows and loves us. We pray, simply and from the heart, and He translates. We leave things in His hands, trusting and waiting, and He gives what we need.
When you pray, there is no need to repeat empty phrases, praying like those who don’t know God, for they expect God to hear them because of their many words. There is no need to imitate them, since your Father already knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:7–8)
Lord, help me to remember when I come to You in prayer that all I need to know is You. My words, like my songs, don’t need to be perfect, because You hear what I need and You give what I need. Help me to completely trust You with every answer, knowing You will only do what is best for me out of love. Amen.
We hope you enjoyed this reading plan. You can learn more about the book Writing Worship and find more resources here.