Pastor Freed used this quote today in his blog, Jack’s Winning Words – “When I pray coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t.” (William Temple)
Much of the time we pray after the fact, thanking God for some fortuitous coincidence that has already happened or perhaps praying for help or rescue from some misfortune. When do you find yourself praying? Do you pray before or after some coincidence happens? Do you ask for guidance and help going in or forgiveness or help coming out of that coincidence?
Often it is the inability to forgive ourselves for some mistake that we’ve made that is the real driver behind our prayers. We need God’s help moving on and ask Him to take the burden of guilt from our shoulders. By praying to God and accepting the outcome as God’s will we can shift the outcome of the event from a guilt trip to a learning experience and move on. Yes, we coulda, woulda and shoulda, but we didn’t, didn’t, didn’t. So, what can we learn from it, so that we don’t make the same mistake again?
It is also important to pray thinking God for the fortuitous outcomes as it is to pray for help. The accident narrowly avoided, the imagined horror that didn’t happen, the reward for good service finally recognized or the new friend you met “by chance” are all coincidences that God needs to be thanked for in your prayers.
You can put yourself in the right mood for the day if you wake up with the short prayer in mind – “Thank you God for giving me another day.” Just that beginning will likely kick off a number of thoughts about coincidences that you are thankful did or didn’t happen yesterday and things you need God’s help with today.
Praying about it won’t change what will happen today, but it will change how you react to what happens today. Pray for God’s peace and the ability to make good decisions as the coincidences of the day occur. Then you’ll have things to look back on and thank God for helping get you through them.
Start with a prayer and have a great, coincidence-filled day!
Maybe Temple could have said, “When I pray coincidences happen and I’m ready for them.”