“In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9a
Occasionally we will experiences situations in our life where we lack the will or the strength to keep going. It could be physical, mental or spiritual but the bottom line is we need help to keep going. Paul had a moment like this and asked God to help him by removing something that was tormenting him. Of course we’d like to think that God would not allow us to struggle or endure pain but that would be scripturally incorrect. God does allow suffering but He also promises deliverance (1 Peter 5:10). When Paul went to God he allowed himself to be vulnerable. He “pleaded” with God making an emotional appeal imploring Him to help him, to heal him but God said no, in fact He said no three times. Instead of walking away disappointed and angry Paul gained understanding and accepted God’s answer.
Although Paul prayed for relief he accepted God’s will and it empowered Him to accomplish God’s purpose. That is what we are all called to do and exactly what Jesus taught His disciples when He taught them to pray; “thy kingdom come, thy will be done”. It is a prayer of surrender, vulnerability, unfiltered, and raw. But it is also a prayer that is honest and heartfelt which resulted in power, the power of Christ. It is the prayer and cry of anyone who seeks to do God’s will.