Thursday, December 21

Presumptuous Prayers?

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. --John 14:13-14 (NIV)

Two weeks ago God used my husband to touch my life in a powerful way. During a visit with me at the hospital we watched some television together and then I drifted off to sleep. While I slept, I slipped into unconsciousness and began experiencing a medical emergency requiring immediate intervention.

This recent experience has taken my appreciation and love for him to a new level. Not only do I thank God for him repeatedly, but I almost feel a certain degree of indebtedness to him, even to the point of being apologetic for continuing to need his help. I suppose in some sense that's a reasonable reaction to what happened at the hospital. Brad explained to me that I don't need to feel like I'm being demanding or presumptuous to ask him for things. After all, he loves me and will do whatever is in his power to demonstrate that to me. He knows I'm not asking for things just because I'm too lazy to do it myself.

His explanation of why he doesn't mind doing things when I ask reminded me of how it is when we ask God for things. There are times when we all feel like it is not our place to ask something of such a powerful God who was merciful enough to save us from death. Instead of approaching His throne and asking Him for the things He longs to give us, we hesitate, afraid of Him reacting by saying "haven't I already done enough for you?"

God doesn't often respond to our requests with such a human display of emotion. His character is unlike that of anything or anyone we are familiar with on earth. When we pray with humility and awareness of what He's done, He responds in ways that attest to his glory. Prayers of supplication (i.e. requesting things of God) is not presumptuous. With the proper attitude, such prayers can open our hearts to recognize even greater things that God does out of His unconditional love for us.

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