“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
When the waves are crashing down and we feel life about to take us under, we’ve been told by preachers, teachers, and even The Bible to ask what we desire in prayer and we will receive it. At one point in my life, I began praying the same prayer every single day. I wanted God to remove one thing in my life to allow something greater to manifest and since the good book told me to pray without ceasing then I decided that if I truly wanted this then I must consistently pray that God performs this miracle and makes things better. A year later I found myself still praying that same prayer because my circumstances were still stagnant so I came to the conclusion that God needed me to prove further dedication. Along with my daily prayer, I began fasting. My consistent praying and fasting were not changing my circumstances because I found myself in the same place with the same problems and the same prayer. A thorn had officially been declared stuck in my side. In The Bible, Paul had asked God to remove the thorn from his side three times, but God answered his prayer not with the answer he was looking for, but with an answer of grace which truly was the only answer Paul needed. God told Paul that his grace was sufficient for him.
When you feel like your prayer is going unanswered, God may have already answered it with an answer of “grace” and although it may not feel like it, God is performing a miracle beyond secular imagination through your thorn. The Bible says that His power is made perfect in weakness, which means that the same thorn that causes you to feel weak is an indicator of the presence of God’s power to change your situation. He is calling you to greater heights and is working things out in your life that couldn’t manifest without this thorn. To ask God to remove the thorn before the perfect timing of His will would be asking the presence of God’s power to exit the stage, which will leave you in the same audience of desolation you were in before the thorn. Thorns cause us to go through a process that may be painful but cause progression that will ultimately grant us prosperity. Process. Progression. Prosperity.
Once I had that revelation and the perspective of my thorn changed, my prayer had to change along with it.
“Father God, I come to you today thanking you for my thorn and your answer of grace. Your word says that you will not put more on me than I can bear, so Father I know that if you’ve placed these burdens into my life then you have granted me the power to bear them. I trust you even in times when I don’t understand because your ways are not my ways and your thoughts are not my thoughts. I no longer want to ask you to remove my thorn. I’m asking for you to remove my doubt. Remove my lack of faith. Remove the pieces of me that desire a lighter load to carry and a weightless burden to bear. In the midst of every storm and in the face of every thorn, your grace will be sufficient for me. Amen.”