We may never actively think this, but how many times have we wrongfully thought there was a power struggle in Heaven? I’m sure we’ve all seen those silly memes on social media where Jesus and Satan are arm wrestling. That is simply unbiblical. There is no power struggle. God has Satan on a leash. So we must pray with that in mind. We’re not praying to a God who doesn’t obtain all control or is fighting off an equal match. We’re praying to the God that uses his enemies as his footstool (Psalm 110:1). We’re praying to the God that does whatever he pleases (Psalm 115:3). Our God is in control; our God is the sovereign one. Let that truth develop our patience.
Think of a time you prayed—however many times—for something to happen yet it didn’t come to fruition. Perhaps it was a loved one fighting cancer; maybe it was for a big promotion that would allow you to provide more for your family. Or maybe it was as simple as praying a road trip to go smoothly. But then your prayer went unanswered. Your loved one succumbed to cancer; you didn’t get the promotion; you got a flat tire halfway through the road trip and didn’t have a spare. Had God lost control? Had Satan or one of his minions won the arm wrestling match? As the Apostle Paul likes to say, “By no means!”
The reason our prayers go unanswered is not because God ceased being all-powerful but because that’s simply not the plan God had for us at that specific moment. He wants us to exercise patience. Sometimes it means we have to endure intense grief; oftentimes it’s dealing with the major inconveniences of life. Either way, God is still with us and in control of our lives. And that’s a good thing. Our lives would be in shambles if we were in control. We would mess everything up (more than we already do). Thank God for the sovereignty of God.