We no longer confuse “this present evil age” (Gal. 1:4) with the kingdom which our Lord proclaimed and in connection with which He said: “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matt. 21:22). Under the present circumstances it is a good thing that we do not receive “whatsoever” we ask, even in faith, for we read in Romans 8:26 that “we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” The same passage, however, goes on to tell us what we do know:
“And we know that all things work [“are being worked”] together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
When we exercise the deepest, most implicit faith in God, we will not insist that He grant our desires, but will place ourselves unreservedly in His care and keeping, fully assured that he will work all out for our good. Thus the apostle Paul continue to instruct us:
“Be careful [anxious] for nothing: but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).
“And…” And what? “And you will receive what you ask for?” No! Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, whatever the circumstances, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God,
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
It may be necessary for your own good that He withhold what you have asked for, but sustained by a sense of His love and grace you will not crack or go to pieces, for having talked to Him about it and left it with him, His peace—the peace that passes human understanding—will keep, or garrison, your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
There is something more blessed, then, than merely getting what we ask for in prayer. It is spoken of again by the Apostle Paul:
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:20,21)