In our last visit I shared what I mean by a category D request: It is a prayer in which you talk to God about your feelings on an issue that you know is outside of His will for you. We looked at Christ’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane as an example.
This kind of prayer is therapeutic. It flushes out all that hinders us in carrying out God’s will. It provides for honesty, integrity and transparency before God. It heals us and steels us for the step of obedience.
I once counseled a young Christian woman who was having an adulterous affair. As I spoke with her and her lover, it was obvious they felt deeply for one another. However, when I said that God insisted she break that relationship and return to her husband (for whom she had no feeling at the time), it caused her obvious pain. For a few days she wrestled over what to do. Finally, in anguish, she told God how torn she felt. Through tears she acquiesced.
Later, even while praying with her husband, she honesty shared her ambivalent feelings—but also her resolve to obey. I could see the power of honesty and genuine determination. God isn’t fooled. He knows what is within us. We are the ones who fool ourselves when we try to obey while remaining uptight. He wants us released. Honesty in prayer is the doorway.
So Category D is prayer that gives us the opportunity to express our feelings even when we know they are outside of God’s will, so long as we ultimately acquiesce. “Not my will, but Your’s, Lord!” needs to be the bottom line. God understands and will bless that prayer.