5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;
Proverbs 3’s first quatrains remind us not to forget who God is, His ways and commands, His steadfast love and faithfulness. This remembrance gives context to our prayers, that the One to whom we pray loves us and is faithful to us, even when we are not faithful to Him. When we forget the true nature of the recipient of our prayers, we can distort His nature and can misread His response.
Part of “lean not on your own understanding” is taking our prayers in the context of God’s nature, not in the context of our nature, and understanding His response in that light. We often want things to be certain, to be “deterministic” to use an engineering term—doing A elicits response B. But because God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts not our thoughts, we do not fully grasp what He is doing in His time.
Everything in this world—short of Jesus—will let us down. We can firmly plant our feet on the Rock, and as we focus on the Word, we are more confident in Christ. As we raised our boys, we continually pointed them back to the Word. When one woke up afraid at night, we showed him the comfort he can find in Scripture. To this day, he has Scripture on the wall next to his bed to bring comfort in times of uncertainty.
That’s also why we can trust Him with our whole heart. Very few people are whole-hearted. We are always holding something back, always unsure if we can be that vulnerable, that open. God already knows. Not a shocking theological revelation, but sometimes we forget that He sees all of us—good, bad, and ugly—and loves us. He doesn’t love us in spite of…He just loves us. Secure in His steadfast love, we are free.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What do you do, before you pray or at the beginning of your prayer, to remind yourself of who God is, the recipient of your prayers?
- How does trusting in the Lord with all your heart change the way you pray? Do you pray with the certainty of His love for you and trustworthiness? How does this help align your will to His?