Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the Lord your God and against you. Now forgive my sin once more and pray to the Lord your God to take this deadly plague away from me.” Moses then left Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. And the Lord changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which caught up the locusts and carried them into the Red Sea. Not a locust was left anywhere in Egypt. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go.
It was his last year of graduate school, and just like all of his classmates, the only thing he could think of was the future. Everyone was trying to plan where they would live and where they would work, how they would make this education pay off for them in a big way. He prayed for God to bring him one of the coveted jobs in the big city that would let him live the young professional lifestyle he had envisioned. What he sought was position and reputation. The future he imagined was all about moving up in the world and being in what he considered to be a better place. God would not answer that prayer the way he wanted, but instead would take him back home to the small town and a small job that looked no different than what he had before school.
There is one reason why God answered the prayer of Moses here. It simply was his will for the locusts to be carried away by the wind. Now, it also was his will for the heart of Pharaoh to harden so that this miracle would end up meaning nothing to him. The prayer of Moses was not about what Moses wanted. It was not even about what Pharaoh wanted. The job of Moses here and the job we have whenever we pray is to speak forth the will of God. We want to be connected with the Lord so strongly and clearly that we know what He wants us to call forward. If God had wanted to harden Pharaoh’s heart by keeping the locusts there, this prayer would not have been answered. Yet, that still would have been God’s answer to the prayer. When we pray, we are looking to move God according to his will.
Sometimes we pray and our requests are nothing more than asking God to move not how He wants but how we want. Our experience should tell us that we often do not know what is best for us. The safest prayer I can think of is the one which simply asks for God’s will to be done. However, we surely want greater discernment than that. We want to have the mind of Christ and the knowledge He had to pray only that which was according to his Father’s will. Whether it is our own prayer request or the request of another, what we really want is simply to ask God for what He wants. Father, give us the knowledge and discernment to know your will so that we can simply call that forward in prayer and see fruit.