Friday Devotional - Prayer & Tetris

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Friday Devotional - Prayer & Tetris

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
— 1 Corinthians 10:31

Friday Devotional

Last weekend I had the opportunity to babysit an almost 3-year-old, and we spent much of the evening playing his manual Tetris board. My role was holding all the blocks and handing them to Elias one at a time. Elias would look at the piece I handed him, scan the board, and drop the piece wherever he saw fit. Trying to guide him in the right direction, I would feed him pieces that I knew would fit well into the puzzle he was creating. Sometimes Elias handled the pieces I gave him perfectly - sinking the piece exactly where I intended him to place it. Other times he would put the piece in a place with a gap, so I would feed him the next piece to help fill in the gap he created. Once in a while, I would hand Elias a piece and he would tell me “No.” He would try to hand the piece back to me, convinced I needed to give him a new piece. About half the time I would change the piece up and give him a new piece. The other times I would say, “No Elias, you can solve this! Where should we put this piece?” After a little more fussing, he would begrudgingly find a spot for the tile. It made me realize that sometimes I think our prayer lives can look a lot like Me & Elias’s Tetris Game.

We serve a God that is all-knowing – He knows everything that has happened, everything that is happening, and everything that will happen. We also know He created our lives with a plan and a purpose as we read in Psalm 139: 16 – “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of the came to be.” God looks at our life like the Tetris board and can see all the events, challenges, & blessings he has planned for us. He knows what blocks we need and the order we need them in.

But we are like Elias. We don’t see the whole picture or all the blocks coming up. We only see the pieces already on the board. We pray and ask God for the next steps, and we have different responses when God hands us the next block:

Sometimes God seems to hand you all the right blocks you hoped for. Your prayers are getting answered in the ways you hoped, and like Elias, you are happily stacking blocks on top of each other.

Other times we might pray for something and God gives us an answer we didn’t expect. Maybe you prayed for a blessing, but in turn, God presented you with a new challenge to overcome. While maybe that answer to your prayer didn’t fit “perfectly” in the puzzle the way you wanted, God provided you the next block to compliment the last block he gave you and you keep building.

And then there are times when God gives us challenges we never expected. We might feel like little Elias, begging God to give us a different piece of the puzzle because we don’t see how the one He has given us could possibly fit. We pray and pray hoping that God will spare us the challenge or hardship presented to us.

At times God may grant us our request and choose to spare us the hardship or difficulty. James 5:15-16 speaks of the power of prayer, “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

But there are also times when God will choose not to spare us from the hardships or difficulties we face. As studied last week in Psalm 60, trials in our lives help build spiritual maturity. Just like Elias having to work through the challenge of finding a place in the puzzle for a piece he didn’t understand or want, we can trust that through the trials we don’t want to face, we are learning and growing in our faith.

So as we come before God in prayer, let’s praise Him for the pieces of the puzzle that are coming together easily, let’s petition Him for the challenging parts of the puzzle we don’t understand, and let’s have confidence that our all-power and all-knowing Father in Heaven has a greater plan than we can even fathom.

Photo by Aedrian on Unsplash