Ever heard the saying, Be careful what you pray for…because you just might get it? I’m curious…do you agree or disagree with the warning?
Usually the warning comes at a time like this…you’re in a small group and taking prayer requests.
Janey: “Please pray for me. I need need to be more patient.”
Lucy: Girl, be careful what you pray for. God won’t give you patience, he’ll give you the opportunity to learn patience.
i.e. You don’t want to ask for that because your life will get worse instead of better.
What a load of horse pucky.
Do you believe God is sovereign and good? (Because He is). If you do, then why should you fear to ask Him for anything? Don’t all good and perfect gifts come from the Father above (James 1:17)? If we ask God for a fish, will he give us a snake (Luke 11:11)? If we ask for Him for an egg, will he give us a scorpion (Luke 11:12)? If we ask Him for patience, will He make our life worse?
And what about biblical passages like these:
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
[Jesus:] “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10
Of course, it’s never that easy, because there is always a caveat. The key is why you’re asking.
You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. ~ James 4:2-3
And if you’re really boneheaded about it, God might go ahead and give you what you ask for like he did in the case of the Israelites. Remember when they wanted to be like everyone else?
“Look,” they told [Samuel], “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.” ~1 Samuel 8:5
But God saw their request for what it really was:
“Do everything they say to you,” the Lord replied, “for they are rejecting me, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.” ~1 Samuel 8:6-9
Samuel warned them what it would be like to have a human king, yet they persisted. And God granted their request.
So should you be careful what you pray for? I don’t think so. Go ahead and ask. Go to God with all of your worries, desires, wants, and needs. It’s not so much what you’re asking for that’s the problem, it’s why your’re asking. Check your motives. Are you wanting God to give you what you want because you want it? Are you treating Him like a vending machine in the sky? Or are you asking for what you want, but desiring God’s best even if it’s not what you’re thinking?
I’m reminded of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” ~Luke 22:42
Take anything and everything to God in prayer, but do so with humility and thankfulness. If you do that, go ahead and ask for whatever you want.
Now for the book tie in. 🙂
Nadine Brandes’s debut novel, A Time to Die, releases today. Her premise ties into the concept of being careful what you ask for. In the book, society wanted to know the exact time of their deaths so they could plan their lives appropriately. So God, through technology, granted their request. At the time of conception, each person is coupled with a clock that shows the exact time of that person’s death. To the second. A countdown to oblivion.
And what ended up happening? In that society, clocks have become everything. If you don’t have one, you’re killed/exiled. Your life and worth are based on how much time you have left to give to society.
And would you really want to know exactly when you would die? How would that change things for you?
Congratulations to Sparks of Ember for winning a free e-copy of A Time to Die!
For those of you who didn’t win, you still have a chance!
- You can attend the release party tonight on Facebook (6-8 PM Central) where you can win the book and a bunch of other great prizes.
- You can also enter the official Rafflecopter giveaway.
TALK TO ME: ARE YOU IN THE BE-CAREFUL-WHAT-YOU-PRAY-FOR OR ASK-GOD-FOR-ANYTHING CAMP?