I caught myself in a prayer dilemma this last week, and so, I thought I’d share with you my learnings.
Last week, on the day of the Pac 12 men’s basketball championship game, in which my beloved University of Arizona Wildcats were playing, I prayed and asked God for the Wildcats to win.
And then I thought, “Is it OK to ask God for my team to win?” And what would the USC fans think when they prayed as I had for their own team, and lost!
I’m not sure it was a full on dialogue with God, but I learned that it’s OK to ask. It’s just not OK to demand. It’s also not OK to expect that I will get what I want. I’m not God. I’m not in charge of the overall picture of the Universe. I don’t get to tell God what to do and expect that God will do it. I’m betting that God knows more than me.
We pray that way a lot….. demandingly, expecting God to answer our prayers in the way we want them answered, and if that doesn’t happen then we are upset with God, disappointed in God, and sometimes think God doesn’t care about us.
None of that conclusion is true. It’s just that we are not God, and we don’t always know what is best, what God’s plans are. We are not God; we are God’s people. And we don’t get to tell God what to do…. expecting that God will do it according to our plans and wishes.
Faith has an element of trust to it. It’s a trust that God is God and is in charge and has a plan and somehow it will all work out for the good.
Now, I doubt that God is manipulating three point shots to win games for us. But I think God understands that we are passionate people when we ask for our team to win. But if our team doesn’t win, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t compassionate with us. It just means ….. the other team won.
You see, this is true in everything if it’s true in one thing.
Hope this helps, and hope it challenges you!
Peace in our journeys,
Pastor Steve Melde
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